Verse of the Day Devotion. 1 Peter 3:8 To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit.
This verse gives us serious instructions on how we are to treat others, not just our brothers and sisters in Christ, but all people everywhere. Let’s look at the following characteristics that should be consistent in our lives as Christians. First we have harmonious. This has the meaning of being in unity with our brothers and sisters. We should not, in any way, quarrel over things that are meaningless which will cause dissension within the Church. We are to be united as one, with the purpose of glorifying God and not arguing over useless ideas. To live in harmony does not mean to have the same opinion on every subject. God is not advocating a meaningless uniformity for his church. Rather, harmony has to do with oneness of attitude. Harmony is created when the various parts of an organization are properly related to one another in the pursuit of a common goal. Unity is the necessary result of all members of the church living in obedience with the one Spirit who indwells all believers, in contrast to pride.
Next we are to have compassion for others, willing to help bear each other’s burdens. We are to be willing to suffer with another in order to help them through their difficulties. And with this, we are to love our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are to have compassion and be tender hearted with them, as well as those who are not yet Christians. And finally, we are to be humble in spirit. This does not just refer to our ideas but also to attitudes, our general mental outlook. Proverbs says the following, “A man’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor.” Proverbs 29:23. Too many times, we find ourselves not loving a brother or sister because they differ with us or will not do what we want them to do.
Then Peter moves on to say we must never repay evil with our own evil. “Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.” 1 Peter 3:9-11. To do so is to act like the world; it is certainly not the way of Christians. Good for evil is Godlike. It is what God did for us undeserving people. You, who are the children of God, should seek to act as He does: not repaying evil for evil. And this should be practiced to unbelievers also, so that the light of Christ can be reflected by us to a dark world. And this is the only way we can be at peace with all men. “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;” Hebrews 12:14-15. It is essential that we show the love of God, through our exhibition of His love, to a world who desperately needs to see it. This is to the lost, as well as Christians who have not experienced life as Christ desired for us. Too many people have seen too much evil done against them, and it is our job to show them what Christianity is truly about: the acceptance of everyone who have given themselves completely to Christ, and those who have not as of yet with the light of Christ shining upon them.
In closing, Peter ends this idea by showing those who follow the above have God’s favor upon them. “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.” 1 Peter 3:12. There is not a righteous man on earth whom God does not see. They may not be seen by others here, they may be in poverty, they may not be famous. But so long as they are righteous, God delights to look upon them. He looks upon them to take care of them. Therefore, let us live our lives with the righteousness of Christ as much as possible, and be willing to humble ourselves before God, confessing our sins when we falter.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.
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