The high school I attended in Northern Ontario had a Latin motto, typically designed to communicate priorities for staff and students. “Facta Non Verba” adorned the school crest and at times valedictorians, guest speakers, teachers and administration would remind us of this “call” to action not simply talk!
In First Peter 2:15, Peter, in his instruction regarding spiritual engagement with a community outlines the “will of God” for the Christ-followers of his day. Guided by the Spirit of God, his words have an amazing ‘modern’ relevance to proper conduct for the 21st century.
“For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.”
Some reflections –
God’s will isn’t some ‘esoteric’ quest for young people. Survey youth groups and College & Career speakers and you may well find “the will of God” showing up as a prominent theme for devotionals. God’s will is God’s will for children, youth and adults. Here Peter anticipates that Christians are to be ‘wiser’ than their opponents. We live among ‘foolish’ people – intelligent, but unwise in their use of time, talent and treasure.
Foolish men speak foolishly. How wise are you with your conversations? Proverbs 18:21 reminds us that the power of “life and death” is in the tongue. Fools are ‘ignorant,’ and their conversation proves it. They really don’t know what it is going on. They are not wise. They pride themselves in saying whatever they choose to say.
How do you “outtalk” a fool? By ‘doing good,’ by living wisely and demonstrating wisdom in your use of time, talent and treasure. This is God’s will. His plan, His wise counsel is not to ‘out argue’ our opponents, but ‘out live’ them. Living wisely shows up in daily choices of minutes, hours and days. This issues is settled choice by choice, decision by decision as we live “facta non verba.” It’s not that we never have to speak – after all, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17), but let our ‘speaking’ come as a result of our ‘doing good,’ our different ‘wise-living’ from a world that provides ample evidence of foolishness.
Yesterday, we had the joy of witnessing a beautiful God-centred wedding of two Christ-followers who had both experienced the death of their first God given spouse. The wisdom with which they have lived proved the reality of Pastor Rick’s sermon on the occasion as he directed the attention of everyone to the words of Jesus in Matthew 7 at the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount where the wise man not only hears the words of Jesus but puts them into practice. Perhaps it’s time we sang again, “The wise man built his house upon the Rock!’ ‘Rock-solid’ lives result in following this plan of God’s design!