Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 2:11-17 (day three)
“Abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles.”
Peter does not say this in order to unleash the behavior police. He tells us these things because fleshly lusts will degrade your ability to draw near to people with compassion and empathy. When your body’s appetites become your workaround for your own fear and pain, another person will become a means to an end for you. Like everyone else, your life harbors places of deep agony. The shortest of shortcuts to alleviate that distress is your body and the bodies of others. When you instead begin learning from Christ to address anguish through the pursuit of holy living, your life starts to heal, and you gain the energy to love people. The behavior police live by rules. The church lives by love.