The Battle of the Bulge was the last major offensive in WW2. The Axis powers failed to divide the Allies but at a great price. The USA lost 100,000+ lives. Peter tells us that faith is a battle not dissimilar to the Battle of the Bulge. We battle with our own sinful self and the desires that drive us. We are counseled to choose God’s way with our passions. Peter tells us to submit to government authorities. We are to be people who do good. In our culture today we hear so much about advocating for the oppressed and downtrodden by unjust authorities. For sure it is a battle to figure out just how to respect government authorities when we are feeling misunderstood. Peter contends that doing good silences false accusations and is God’s way of waging war with evil. The frog that is hard to swallow is Peter’s advise to slaves to submit to masters. We just do not like that language today and we would like to think we are the master’s of our lives. But in truth we live in community and community only works when we respect each other and we are willing to give up some of our freedom for peace.
I have always liked the example of a stray dog who has no master and goes around rummaging for food, flea ridden, and unloved verses the owned dog that must submit to the leash and a master but is fed, is groomed and is the family pet. The happier, healthier dog is the one who submits to an authority. Likewise as we live in submission to God, our lives will go better, not because we are somehow favored but because God speaks the truth about how to live the good life. He does not play favorites and he is honest about how life works – don’t kill, don’t covet, don’t slander, don’t steal, and show respect to God and family.
Peter further reasons that if we do what the crowd does and love those who love us then we have only done what everyone else does. It is when we, as exiles and strangers, choose to do the good that is unexpected and contrary to human nature that others see God working through us. Peter says the example for us is Christ who went through severe trials trusting God and without sin.
Perhaps you are waging a war today within yourself, within your family, within your friendship group or perhaps even within government. Let us pray about how we can lead lives in the midst of these battles to God’s glory. Staying united and continuing to battle at great cost, helps to win the wars of life. Blessings in the struggle.