Today you should read: 1 Peter 3:8-12
“Hey, your middle school called; they want their drama back!” That’s what I want to say sometimes when people aren’t willing to deal with their issues with others. It’s especially frustrating within the church when people continuously have contention with one another. It’s even more saddening and frustrating when there is an inability to have a like-mind about a petty issue.
Our passage today tells us how to be/stay unified. Let’s break down the characteristics of unity that Peter lists in verse 8 so we can avoid unnecessary drama. In the NASB, Peter exhorted Christians to be:
• Harmonious: The Greek word used here is homophron, which is formed from two words (homo=same, and phron=mind or cognitive faculties). Peter said we are to have the same mind. This takes effort because individuals do not always begin with like minds.
• Sympathetic: This word literally means to suffer or feel like another. To be sympathetic is to have compassion for another. Another way to put it is to “put yourself in the other person’s shoes.”
• Brotherly: The Greek word here is philadelphos. The city of Philadelphia is called the city of brotherly love. The idea here is that we love others as if we would our brother or fellow countryman. We have to choose to love our fellow Christians and sisters as brothers and sisters.
• Kindhearted: This word means to be compassionate and tender-hearted towards others. Another way to put it is simply to be nice to others. Isn’t it amazing how noticeable and refreshing it is when someone is nice to you? Well, others feel the same when you are nice to them. Is there someone you need to be nice to this week?
• Humble in spirit: This word is similar to the previous one. It means to be kind or courteous. The opposite would be to go out of our way to be resentful, unkind, or spiteful. It’s not always easy to be kind, but we must choose to be humble in spirit.
Verse 9 gives one of the most difficult challenges in all of Scripture. It tells us not to return evil for evil or insult for insult. Instead, we should give a blessing when we are offended. My first thought when I am offended is revenge. The Bible tells me my first thought should be reward. I should give out a blessing to the one who offends me. I admit that I definitely have not perfected this exhortation. In fact, I might be one of the worst at it. If someone bothers me, my instinct is to make them feel miserable. I instead need to attempt give them a blessing and do what verse 8 says to do.
Difficult? Yes. Impossible? No.
Verses 10-12 speak for themselves. No explanation needed. Let’s be people who live out the truths of this whole passage and live in unity, and be quick to confess where we are falling short.
Posted by: Rich Duffield