“Keep a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” 1 Peter 3:16
There’s a story of a woman that while waiting for her flight at an airport, went into the bookstore-coffee shop to buy a book. She picked out a book and while in line to buy it decided to also purchase a few fresh-baked cookies.
Only a few moments after she sat down at a small table, a man asked if he could join her, to which she replied, “Yes.” As he was sitting down she realized that she didn’t have the book she just bought. Thinking she must have left it at the counter, she asked if her guest would watch her things, and went back to get her book.
When she returned, she couldn’t believe her eyes. The man at her table was munching on one of her cookies. “The gall!” she thought to herself. Without saying anything, she gave him a scowling look as she sat down. She immediately pulled out a cookie and began eating it, continuing to let the man know (non-verbally) that she didn’t think highly of him stealing her cookies.
Then, he really pushed the limits of her tolerance. With a smile on his face and looking directly at her, he reached into the bag and grabbed another cookie. Now she was really fuming. She could feel her face getting red as she angrily thought, “This guy really has nerve!”
She immediately stood up, grabbed the bag of cookies in disgust, gave him one last “I can’t believe you did that” look and hurried away. She proceeded to the gate and sat down, still frustrated about what she had just happened. As she reached into her purse to grab her book she was immediately taken aback. There in her purse was her (original) bag of cookies—untouched.
Not only was she totally wrong about this man, thinking that he was stealing her cookies, but she—unknowingly—was actually stealing his cookies. In fact, she ran off with the rest of his cookies. Furthermore, she was furious at him for doing something he never did, while he, graciously, smiled at her knowing she stole his cookies!
WOW. That’s messed up! But you know, that story illustrates what happens sometimes when our best intentions – our good behavior – is miss interpreted, and even maligned. It happened to Jesus all the time. That’s why the Apostle Paul said – in Galatians 6:9 – Don’t get tired of doing what is right, for after a while you will reap a harvest of blessing. If you don’t get discouraged and give up.