As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. (1 Pet. 1:14)

BUSINESSES, SCHOOLS, government buildings, as well as even some churches and homes, have cameras scattered throughout to provide security and safety. Additionally, some of these locales post signs to let customers and visitors know they’re being filmed—”Smile, you’re on camera,” or “Smile for the camera.”

I suppose the strategy makes sense. It’s a way of being proactive. Guests may think twice about their behavior because they already know someone is watching. Why wait for problems to arise before telling would-be wrongdoers they’re being recorded? Even those with no intention of doing ill are often a bit more careful and guarded under the watchful eye of “big brother.”

Peter encouraged the first-century Christians to be ready, self-disciplined, and focused in their lives and walks with Christ. Though many were suffering at that time, Peter reminded them of the promised return of Christ. They were not to lapse in faith during difficulties but to exercise holiness like that of the One who died for them.

Peter’s message to the Jewish Christians is like those signs warning us that our actions and words are being videotaped. His words made early believers more aware and alert to their behaviors and thoughts, just as modern-day postings make us tuned in to our actions.

If anyone is asking, I’d rather see Peter’s timeless charge printed in plain sight than one asking me to just say “cheese.”

Remain alert in all you do, so you may be seen as holy in His sight.

Hally Franz is a former high school guidance counselor, turned stay-at-home mom. She enjoys being a 4-H leader, church secretary, book club member, and traveler.