1 Peter 3:8-4:6
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Focus Verses: 1 Peter 3:8-10
8 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.
Harmony, sympathy, brotherhood, compassion, and humility are hallmarks of faith. The way we interact and relate with others, whether friends or foes, is part of the calling and inheritance of those who follow Jesus. The words of our mouths give evidence of the depth and maturity of our spiritual formation. When our hearts are formed and motivated by the redemptive grace and peace of Christ, we will not return insult for insult or evil for evil.
Response and Action:
If I am truly following Christ, and allowing him to shape and guide my heart and mind, my attitudes and words should demonstrate it. I do not want bitter or unkind words to be my first response when I am offended, hurt, or insulted. I want my speech and attitudes to be driven and shaped by what Christ Jesus would have me say and think.
O God, by the power and grace of your Holy Spirit, transform my heart and mind. Unkind and mean words are too easily spoken when I face difficulties and offense in my own strength. I want you to shape and guide the attitudes of my heart, the thoughts of my mind, and the words of my mouth. Give me the wisdom and the will to surrender to you so fully that all my dealings with other people are rooted in the redemptive love of Jesus. It is in his gracious name that I pray. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses: James 3:9-12
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others
by Scot McKnight