Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 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. For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:8-12 (NIV)
I want to see a lot of those. You want to see a lot of what? I want to see a lot of good days. I want to live a life that you can and will bless. How will this be possible? What must you do for this to be true of your life? I knew you were going to ask me that. So, you were prepared? Well, kind of, sort of, maybe. You don’t sound so sure of yourself. I’m not actually. Why is that? If I want to see many good days, I will need to do the opposite of what comes naturally to me. What’s that? I am a debater. I like to do battle. I like to fight fire with fire. That kind of behavior only stokes flames of anger and resentment. That kind of behavior stirs up evil words and insulting behavior. Engaging in this kind of behavior is an unwinnable battle that will never lead to peace and harmony or bring me any good days. That is a very good lesson that you have learned. I can safely say, I have not been a quick learner. For that, I need your forgiveness. You are forgiven.
What would you like to do differently? How do you want to change your behavior? I want to live in harmony with others. I want to be sympathetic and loving and compassionate and humble. I want to repay every insult and evil, said or done against me, with a blessing. That will be counter cultural. That will not go unnoticed. That will stand out in the world. Exactly, I want to be a bold and bright witness for you in the world. I want my behavior to shine as a bright light that draws others to you. That will be very good. So, I will turn from evil, to do good. I keep evil and deceitful words from coming out of my mouth. I will humbly make every effort to seek peace and pursue it. What will happen to you when you live your life in this way? I will see many good days. I will live a life that you can and will bless. Your eyes will be on me, you will hear and answer my prayers. Yes, I will. Thank you, Lord.
Lord, I have often been tempted to repay evil with evil and insult with insult. Many times, I have succumbed to those evil desires. Forgive me. Help me to bless those who have harmed me. Help me to seek and pursue peace. Help me to be a bright witness for you. Amen
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