Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. 1 Peter 2:12
Proverbs like that one, though not in the Bible, have their place in our language and culture. They simplify truth. Our actions can be measured against them. Of course, the above proverb means that one could brag about their ability to make pudding, but the
proof of their ability is in actually making one and having it tasted. Similarly when we announce that we are Christians, we communicate to the world that our moral and social standards are high. It’s kind of like bragging.
Where’s the proof? Believers and pagans alike abhor hypocrisy. Hypocrisy diminishes credibility. Failures of televangelists (and too many others) are unfortunately legendary. God’s image is damaged by such things. Christians give glory to God when they
live as God directs. Giving Him glory is simply making Him look good. By their fruits you shall know them…a truth that applies to Christians and charlatans alike. The best way to silence critics of Jesus is to live as He did. It’s in the pudding. Peter wrote, Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us (I Peter 12:12).
Two notes from what Peter wrote:
1. Jesus lived perfectly but was accused of wrong. You and I will also be accused of wrong.
2. Despite that, through our good behavior, God will, in the end, be glorified. That’s the ultimate goal for us all.
The proof of your Christianity and mine is in the “putting”.
So here’s another proverb, not in the Bible and tersely put, that can be applied to the Christian faith: Put up or shut up.
–Tom Torpy, Jericho church of Christ