Peter’s audience was well acquainted with injustice. They were persecuted because of their Christian faith by their neighbors, the Roman Empire, and even by their masters (employers). We tend to think of adversity as a form of injustice, but the biblical model for injustice lies primarily in the hands of people, not circumstances.
Recent news headlines have shared stories of injustice, such as happened to Brian Banks. At 17, Brian Banks had what high school junior’s dream of. Ranked 11th nationwide as middle linebacker, the Californian had committed to play football at the University of Southern California after a series of offers from other Division 1 schools. All of that went away the day he was wrongfully convicted of rape. Now, at age 27, after spending five years in prison, five on probation and receiving an exoneration due to the accuser admitting she made up the story, Banks revived his dream and was recently signed with the Atlanta Falcons.
1 Peter 1:12-25 outlines some basic principles for how Christians can appropriately respond when facing injustice.
1. Christ is our example and he expects us to do the right thing regardless of how we’ve been treated. (1 Peter 2:21)
2. If Jesus was treated unfairly, we can not assume that we are exempt to unjust treatment just because we are Christians. (1 Peter 2:22)
3. Retaliation and revenge are not options available to us. (1 Peter 2:23)
4. God is the judge and He will settle every injustice either in this life or the life to come. (1 Peter 2:23b)
5. We do not have the strength to overcome unfair treatment on our own. Christ’s death empowers us to do the right thing. (1 Peter 2:24)
6. We must trust God, for God has pledged to be the guardian of your soul. (1 Peter 2:25)