“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another, be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, whoever would LOVE life and see GOOD days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:8-12
What if we each took these words and lived by them? I wonder just how different this world would be. Our family sat down a couple of months ago and really digested what these words were asking us to do. It’s been a challenge for us, but in trying to live up to them we have experienced a breakthrough. I hear words from my bedroom that bring a momma to tears, “I love you sis, good night.” Simple words that bring hope and life. Harmony! The bickering is being suffocated out by compassion. It only takes one to get it started. What if you were that one person? What if instead of responding to an insult we offered grace? What if we prayed for the one that is hurting instead of trying to pay back the hurt?
Listen to the break down of these verses: “In our fallen world, it is often deemed acceptable by some to tear people down verbally or to get back at them if we feel hurt. Peter, remembering Jesus’ teaching to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39), encourages his readers to pay back wrongs by PRAYING for offenders. In God’s Kingdom, revenge is unacceptable behavior, as is insulting a person, no matter how indirectly it is done. RISE above getting back at those who hurt you. Instead of reacting angrily to these people, pray for them.”
There is a consequence to each direction we choose. When we choose to live in harmony with one another, to love, be compassionate and humble we LOVE LIFE and we see good days. The Lord’s eyes are upon us and his ears are attentive to our prayers. YES! I want and need Him to hear me when I pray. How about you? When we choose to pay back evil with evil and insult with insult our consequence is steep. The face of the Lord is against us.
His word is a lamp unto our feet. It shows us how to live and shows us how to have a life of abundance. I don’t know about you, but I want that life. I want to offer a smile instead of a frown. I want to offer a word that can encourage over a word that can hurt. I want to show others sympathy instead of indifference. I want to be compassionate to what others are going through. We are all walking through our own trials. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all lend a shoulder or a helping hand instead of tending to our own selfish needs or desires. So what’s stopping us? Let’s get out there and LOVE BIG! Let’s ARISE! Let’s be obedient and experience a BREAKTHROUGH!