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. 1 Peter 3:8-9
Let’s talk. About what? About how you respond to people when they mistreat you or say really evil things against you. Let me ask you, “How have you been when responding when someone has wronged you? Not well, I suppose. Tell me more. In the worst case, I’ve tried to figure out if there is a way to get even. Usually I never attempt to get even. But, I think about it a lot. Somehow, I have gotten some kind of perverse joy as I have run revenge strategies through my mind. Even as I have thought them, I’ve known that I wouldn’t take revenge. Why bother with thinking those thoughts then? I don’t know. Some of my revengeful thoughts have had some humor in them. They’ve helped me blow off steam. Do you think I would laugh at your humor in these situations? Not really. You’re right. How else have you responded when others have hurt you? Most of the time I’ve ignored and distanced myself from them. Even in those cases my attitude toward them has been unloving and sarcastic. How would you say that these two strategies are working out for you? Not well, the problem doesn’t usually go away and my bad attitude remains. Would you like me to help you? Yes, what would you suggest?
First let me be clear, what I am about to say is not a suggestion. What is it? It is your calling. I’ve called you to be a blessing. How did I respond when I was mistreated? Did I retaliate? Did I seek revenge? No, you did not. You loved even those who were your enemies. Yes, I did. You are my follower, aren’t you? Yes, most definitely. I know that you are. As my follower I want you to become like me and do what I did. Do you want that too? Yes, I do. Then I want you to love even those who mistreat you. Don’t seek revenge even in your thoughts. Repay evil, wrong, insult, unkindness, and mistreatment with blessing. That is who you are. That is your calling. Pray for those who wrong you. Think of ways to show love and kindness at every turn.
There is something that I would like to laugh with you about. What’s that? How your love for your enemies is a witness for me. Why would you laugh at that? We will both laugh together when your enemies become my friends through me working as a blessing through your life. Won’t that be something for us to celebrate and laugh about together? Yes, it will. Are you ready to live out your calling to be my blessing to others? Yes, Lord I am. Remember as you are a blessing to others, my blessing will be on your life now and forever.
Lord, I am your follower. I want to be like you. I want to do what you did. Help me to live out my calling to be a blessing. I will repay every mistreatment, hurt and evil with blessing as a witness for you in this world. Amen
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