In this letter, the apostle Peter explains to his communities the genuine spirit of the Gospel in its practical applications. He refers, in particular, to the condition and state of life that each one has.
Here he addresses the slaves who converted to the faith and were — as were all slaves at that time — suffering mistreatment and even gross injustices. In a sense, his words are not directed only to slaves but to all those who, in every time and place, experience misunderstandings and injustices by others, whether those others be over them or not.
“If you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval.”
To all those who find themselves in these circumstances, the apostle recommends not giving in to the instinctive reactions that rise up, but imitating Jesus’ behavior. Peter exhorts these persons, in fact, to respond with love and recognize the grace that is present even in these difficulties and misunderstandings. He recommends that they view them as circumstances allowed by God so they can demonstrate a true Christian spirit. Moreover, by doing so they can — through love — bring those persons who may not understand them to Christ.