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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Today’s Reading | 1 Peter 3:8–11             

Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing. For “Those who desire life and desire to see good days, let them keep their tongues from evil and their lips from speaking deceit; let them turn away from evil and do good; let them seek peace and pursue it. (NRSV)

A few comments about First Peter (excerpted or paraphrased from The Anchor Bible Commentary on the Epistles of James, Peter, and Jude):

The author’s desire is to prevent the believers from ruining the precious gift of the gospel by bitterness and strife.

The author admonishes the believers not to be disturbed by the ill will that often meets them.

Our current political climate, fueled and intensified by constant media sound bites and social media sharing sometimes threatens to overwhelm me with despair or puzzlement or bitterness or anger. The words from First Peter act as a great gift and instruction to me in this climate: “Finally, all of you, have . . . a tender heart and a humble mind. Do not pay evil for evil or abuse for abuse. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing.”

It’s a good reminder to us—not to ruin the precious gift of the gospel by falling into our own bitterness or strife. Yes, we should care and have our strong opinions, but paying evil for evil and abuse for abuse or adopting the very behavior we hate isn’t our calling.

Our calling is to cherish the good news of the gospel, the gift of knowing God loves us and forgives us, the relief of knowing that we can’t do it all, and the hope that God is sovereign and cares for this world, even when we can’t see it.

Great and wondrous God, help me to remember to cherish the gift you have given—the gift of the gospel, the knowledge of love, and assurance of your presence in my life and this world. Let me continue to “seek peace and pursue it.” Amen.

Written by Judith L. Watt, Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care

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