1 Peter 3:8-9 New Living Translation
“Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing.”
The Apostle Peter lays out for his readers’ five key ingredients that should characterize any grouping of Christians. They are to be of one mind, be sympathetic, and exhibit love, tenderness and humility. Being of one mind means that the believers would all be pursuing the same goal, both individually and corporately. Being sympathetic means to be responsive to another’s needs. We are to love fellow believers as brothers and sisters, showing sensitivity and caring and treating them as greater than yourself. If we would follow this outline it stands to reason that a lot of the divisive talk and actions, being nothing more than gossip, would stop. Instead, many seem content to simply attend church, not get involved and judge anyone and anything that doesn’t fit their way of how things ought to be.
We are Christ’s ambassadors. We must begin to show people outside our faith who Jesus is by exhibiting his characteristics. He’s not a fictional character, but rather a person in history. If we truly believe that God is real and Jesus is who he said he is, we must allow that knowledge to permeate our soul. There are no couch potatoes in the kingdom of God. No excuses are acceptable. We are commanded to treat our spiritual family members with loving kindness, not contempt.
We should never repay an evil deed with the same. Frankly, we shouldn’t retaliate at all. We are to pray for them, seeking to bless them. That type of response will have a far more positive response than entering into battle. We are to go thru our lives with a spirit of calmness and peace. We can ask for it and should daily. We haven’t failed if we get upset or lose our temper at someone. We need to simply apologize to the target of our anger and seek forgiveness from the Lord for blowing it. God understands and is more than willing to help us succeed in all aspects of the Christian life. When God blesses us, spread it around like seeds for the kingdom. Giving it away will bless you more than the one you have sought to bless. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resource: The Life Application Study Bible, published by Tyndale House.