“Having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.”
honorable among the Gentiles
The word “honorable” means lovely, good to look upon. The Christian must make his life so beautiful to look upon that the slanders of his enemies may be undeniably demonstrated to be false.
“Gentiles” is a synonym for non-Christians. It is the word for heathen, nations, pagans (I Thes. 2:16; 4:5).
The best argument for Christianity is genuine Christian living.
Whether we like it or not, every Christian is an advertisement for Christianity. By our lives we either commend Christ to others or we make people censure him or think less of him.
Since the word “honorable” means “beautiful,” we adorn our testimony by our behavior. It is the outer life that strikes the eye. Is your Christian life winsome? Is your life attractive? God wants us to live a life appropriate to our profession. Our life should match the gospel.
We often hear the phrase, “What you are speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” Another phrase is “I’d rather see a sermon than hear a sermon any day.” This is especially true in the home. Preaching to relatives day in and out will not win them. Living the life before them will make a much greater impact. They watch and study us.
The closer we live to people the less we need to say. There are certain things we avoid even though they may not be sinful. They may be course, off-color, shady, and beneath the dignity of the child of God.
The Christian is an ad for God. God does not only want us to live a life of integrity but he wants us to appear to live that life as well. We can repel others from Christ by indiscretion. One bad testimony can do more damage that a dozen positive testimonies.