Let yourself become open to God and the knowledge that comes from the Word. Ask God for a peace at this time.
1 Peter 3:8-12 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing. For
“Those who desire life
and desire to see good days,
let them keep their tongues from evil
and their lips from speaking deceit;
let them turn away from evil and do good;
let them seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
We can be so good at justifying evil in our lives. We say, “bless her heart….” and assume that we are then absolved of the responsibility of whatever next comes out of our mouths. We say, “No offense but….” knowing that the next words out of our mouths are intended to cause offense. We say, “I’m just saying….” when we are doing anything but “just” saying. Even worse, we tend to follow the world’s counsel of “looking out for number one” and returning insults with insults.
I can remember my mother telling me, “Our family doesn’t do things like that” if I asked permission to do something that I knew was wrong. 1 Peter is reminding us that although we live in a world that seeks to always divide and cut and hurt, our family – God’s family- doesn’t do things like that. We repay evil with blessing. We desire tender hearts and humble minds. We seek peace and actively pursue it.
As a response to Peter’s challenging words, how can you offer grace to someone today who doesn’t deserve it – repay their evil with blessing? Plan something kind that you can do for them.
God of life,
Reveal to me some graceful act you want me to do today to someone who does not deserve it. Give me the wisdom, courage, and strength to do it. I want to be a person of righteousness. I want to have a tender heart and humble mind. I want to follow you. But I need your help to get there. Thank you for giving me the grace I do not deserve and the strength I cannot have on my own. Thank you for letting me be part of your family. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Go with God!