“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.”
they may, by your good works which they observe
A godly life will ultimately stop their slander and even cause them to glorify God.
The word “good” occurs twice in this verse. The first time it is translated by the word “honorable” and this time by the word “good.” A good life produces good deeds.
Matt. 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Tit. 3:8, “This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.”
“Observe” means to view carefully as a personal witness. Non-Christians will carefully watch your testimony.
What the Christian does proclaims the reality of what he believes.
God does not want us to become religious recluses, religious hermits. God’s view is that we insulate ourselves from sin, not isolate ourselves from those who sin. God does not want us to become monks and retreat into monasteries shut off from the world. We cannot stop the world and get off.
Christians should expect to be viewed as speckled birds or queer ducks by those who do not know Christ. Because we do not participate in their wild parties or enter into their lifestyles, they view us as odd.
Christians should attend their testimonies with godly lives. This verse is an appeal to match our witness with our lives. We cannot evangelize others if our behavior is not consistent with our professions. God wants us to witness with our lives to win the lost. Life results in lip.
We cannot influence the world by joining their values. We influence them as a pilgrim. We cannot root ourselves in their values if we are going to win them to another viewpoint. Assimilation into the world not only hurts the Christian, but it minimizes our impact on the world.
On the other hand, we must not isolate ourselves from the world. Our highest calling is to win those who do not know Christ to himself.