Ezekiel 27-29 1 Peter 3
“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:8-9 NCV)
When your relationship with Christ is the most important thing in your life, it allows you to focus on how you deal with people. Peter makes it clear that as Christians, we’re to be of the same mind in our work, loving each other, sympathetic to each other, compassionate and humble. There should be such a strong fellowship among followers of Christ that when the world looks at us, they see the joy and love of Christ in our interactions. When we deal with those outside the church, we should treat them with love also. Revenge shouldn’t be in our tool chest – unless ultimate revenge on our enemies is loving them as Christ loved them no matter what. While there’s satisfaction in getting people back when they do us wrong, there’s no blessing. We’re blessed by God when we show love and bless those who treat us spitefully.
Let’s be honest. People are watching us. There are some people who want to see if they can make us mad. There are others who seem to get our goat naturally. But, however they induce our anger, they’re watching for our reaction. Do we reflect the loving and forgiving qualities of Jesus, or, do we act like they expect us to and lash out in anger? The world is watching. If Christ makes any difference at all in our lives, He’ll make a difference in how we deal with others. People will see, hear, and remember what we say, and what we do about our brothers and sisters in Christ when they wrong us. And wrong us they will. Just as we will do wrong to them. People will also experience how we deal with them when they do wrong to us. And they will because: human. When we return good for evil; when we bless and don’t curse others who probably deserve it, we gain a great blessing. We gain peace of mind. We grow in our relationship with Christ, and we may see others seek God when we forgive them as God would.
Lord, You know my anger problem. Teach me to return blessing for curse. Teach me to return compliments for insults. Teach me to forgive and show grace to others just as You’ve shown to me. Help me to remember that even more important than the world watching me, You’re walking with me every step of the way.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.