“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16).
The word conversation is interesting. Peter used the word eight times in the two epistles, but his use of the word has little to do with how we use it today. In modern context, the word conversation refers to our speech or communication back and forth. However, Peter used the word referring more to behavior. The Greek translation leaves us with the definition “to turn.” So the phrase “be ye holy in all manner of conversation” describes so much more than just our words. We are being instructed by Peter to embrace the idea of conversion, a complete turning away from the world, what it represents and its contrary philosophies.
Look at a Converse tennis shoe. More than 800 million of these sneakers have been sold, and the design has remained basically the same since the shoe was released in 1921. Sixty percent of all Americans have at one time owned a “Chuck Taylor” pair of tennis shoes. The shoe is iconic: the circle logo near the ankle, the bright white rubber sole, simple laces. No one has to ask, “What brand are those?” They are likely the most recognized shoe to ever exist. Converse became iconic not by embracing every new trend in shoe design and not by reinventing themselves to keep up with “cooler” brands like Nike or Adidas. They simply just kept producing a good, recognizable, familiar product. Today, almost 100 years later, they are still revolutionizing the industry. As a matter of fact, the basic Converse shoe is the most counterfeited shoe in the world.
Perhaps this was Peter’s point to the Church. Stay recognizable. Turn from the world. Be different in all manner of conversation, in everything you do. Be countercultural and resist every wind of doctrine. Just be who Christ has called you to be. It will mean being a contrast to the filth and carnality of the world, but that’s precisely what the world needs. As the world gets darker, it will be ever more important that His Church be a shining light standing in contrast to evil and perversion. This is no time to change what we believe, or how we behave, or how we look to blend in to the ecumenical soup of religiosity. One day, God will call for His church and we will need to be ready to answer.
“Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5).