"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. Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the WILL of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly." 1 Pet 2:12-19 ESV
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect WILL of God." Rom 12:2 NKJV
It is such an interesting thing to be in the world but not of the world. Christ was this way and now as believers in Christ we are also. We are to be spiritual people in the midst of moral (and immoral) people. Mindful of God as people are being mindful of our actions. God is not judging our actions but he has the desire that these people, who have no faculty available to them but sight, would glorify Him in the day of their 'visitation'.
I started this morning out doing a study on the will of God... that is why the word WILL is capitalized in these verses.
There are moments, windows of opportunity, that open in people's lives... perhaps there is a lot done and said by us that seems ineffective but is really focused on those moments of visitation. That is just one reason why it is important that we live our lives identifying with Christ. Who He is and what he has done will not fail us... or other people.
"So Jesus answered them, 'My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. If anyone's will is to do God's WILL, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.' " John 7:16-18
How many years of Sunday school are focused on a moment of visitation in a child's life? If they have that moment they may just unwrap all that doctrine and teaching they received like a gift on Christmas morning.
Perhaps there will be a moment in an unbelieving adults life, a person close to you, when suddenly the things you said and did will make sense to them. A moment when the cross and Christ on that cross has deep personal impact for them. That is our prayer isn't it?
Conforming to the world is never the answer... mindfulness of God and identification with His Son is. When we look back we will not regret that we did.