Remember Peter from Jesus’ inner circle of disciples? In the years he spent with Jesus, we read about him acting impulsively and inconsistently (jumping out of a boat to try to walk on water with Jesus, cutting off a soldier’s ear, denying even knowing Jesus after he was arrested), but after Jesus’ resurrection, he became a fully-devoted leader of the early church. We have two letters in the Bible from Peter that are full of encouragement to Christ-followers who are living and waiting for Jesus to return. Much of Peter’s instruction points them to live in a way that is different than their default instincts and distinct from their home cultures.
1 Peter 3:8-12 says:
“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. For the Scriptures say,
‘If you want to enjoy life
and see many happy days,
keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies.
Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right,
and his ears are open to their prayers.
But the Lord turns his face
against those who do evil.’”
The section at the end is a quote from the Psalms. Look over all the verses above; is there a phrase that jumps out at you? Consider writing it down somewhere you’ll see it through your day.
Questions to consider:
When have you recently wanted to retaliate and return an insult with your own insult?
Are you ever sarcastic or harsh? What do you think God’s invitation is for you in those moments?
An action step to take:
Find a person or place that needs more peace and think of a way to be a peacemaker.
Practice NOT speaking. We often speak before thinking; try to hold your tongue more today.