Peter has plenty more to say: if you're on God's team, act like it. Don't be hateful or bitter or insecure or envious or a liar.
Act the newborn Christian you are. Drink nothing but spiritual milk and you'll grow up big and strong and holy.
Or be like a stone.
Again, stay with us here.
There are some stones that folks didn't think were good enough for building houses. Jesus was one of those. Believers are the others.
But these rejected stones will be used to build up a spiritual house, says Peter
Again, Peter quotes Isaiah's thoughts on stones. He tells us that the stone that everyone hated will become the cornerstone—the most important piece in the whole building. Take that, inept builders.
That same stone will trip up those haters and make them fall. Fall into sin, that is. They've turned their backs on God and they'll get their comeuppance one day.
But believers are super special. They're God's new people. And he's gonna be merciful with them. Other folks? Not so much.
Okay, so if you're a believer in Jesus, how should you be acting?
Well, first of all, don't sin. Also, you should try to behave yourself when you're dealing with non-believers. They may think Christians are a little wacky, but if everyone keeps their behavior on the up and up, it could change their mind. Hey, it's worth a shot.
Also, don't go around challenging authority figures on purpose. Be respectful to the emperor and his governors. Peter doesn't want anyone thinking Christians are anti-social anarchists. Honor everyone you meet. But especially throw in a little groveling when you're dealing with the emperor.
They're Slaves for You
Okay, how about slaves? Well, says Peter, you guys should also be totally accepting of your masters. Even if they're super hard on you.
After all, if you do something wrong and get beat for it, then that's on you.
But if you haven't done anything at all and still get the crud kicked out of you by your owner? Well, that time God is on your side.
Actually, this makes you just like Jesus. He didn't do anything wrong and the powers that beat and crucified him. He never even retaliated—he just trusted that God would sort it all out.
So think of that when you're being mercilessly whipped over a missing loaf of bread that you didn't steal.