Wow, how different our world might look if we simply followed the teaching found in 1 Peter 3:8-12 “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, (not opposing), be sympathetic (sensitive and supportive), love one another (godly love is clarified/defined in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7), be compassionate (showing genuine concern), and humble (respectful, soft-spoken, gentle, courteous, putting others before self). Do not repay evil with evil, or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing (favor, grace, goodwill, forgiveness), because to this, you were called so that you might inherit a blessing. For, whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful (sarcasm, lies, slander, libel, hateful, demeaning) speech (be encouraging, uplifting, speaking only good things towards others). They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it (seek and pursue like a fox searches out his prey). 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.” Luke 6:28 tells us, “to pray for those who mistreat us.” Implying we should pray for their best interest; not ours! Wow, difficult to carry out to say the least. And Luke 6:37, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you.”
Scripture clearly states how we as fellow followers and believers in Christ should live. I find it difficult to imagine our world should every Christian heed and put into action these words. I only know it would be dramatically different! Albert Einstein stated, “A life lived for others, is the only life worth living”; Albert got it!!!
Rewards await those who live such lives. In Luke we read, “A good measure (of blessing, God’s favor), pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into our lap. And in 1st Peter we read, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer”. Wonderful promises from a loving, faithful, generously rewarding God. I don’t know about you….. I certainly enjoy knowing God’s ears will be attentive (aware, interested, vigilant, and watchful over) my prayers and blessings running over… I say bring em on. Oh wait, I might need to change my behavior, just a wee bit 🙂
Not sure you desire to change your way of responding and interacting with others; especially those who, let’s just say, go against our grain? Perhaps this warning, also found in Luke, might change your mind. “For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Did you catch it? To the extent I/we pour out love, compassion, consideration, forgiveness, etc., to others, is the measurement by which God will extend, love, compassion, consideration, forgiveness, grace, etc., to me/us.
God calls us to be holy, set apart, to go above and beyond what humanity expects or does. The words found here in first Peter and in Luke give us a clue to what being holy, set apart, looks like. I think it’s time I started living my life just a wee bit different. How about you?
Until next time,
It feels good writing again. Due to an injury and lots of rehab, I needed to put aside my writing time. Thanks to those who emailed and expressed their concern over my absence. It’s always nice to know one’s missed on the blog highway.
***Words in brackets added for clarity