Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
For whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. (I Peter 3:8-11, English Standard Version)
While reading the Bible this morning, I think I discovered the answer to world peace, a happy family, a thriving church, a friendly community, and a peaceful workplace. Seriously. And it will work—as we all work together. Even if everyone does not get on board, I can make my corner of the world a better place by living that way myself.
What is this great secret I have found? It’s really not a secret at all. Just read I Peter chapter 3, especially verses 8 through 11. It’s all outlined there.
When we break these verses down phrase by phrase, we discover how to create a harmonious life together. I’ve jotted down some of my thoughts on each phrase. I invite you to write your own paraphrase of these verses, perhaps finding other scriptures that expand on these thoughts.
As I embrace the essence of these verses, I will strive to:
- Be likeminded. I will work harmoniously with others, never insisting on my way but desiring what’s best for all.
- Love others like brothers and sisters. I will seek only good for this person and will resolve any conflict without animosity.
- Be sympathetic. I will hurt when my sister hurts and rejoice when she rejoices.
- Show courtesy and kindness. I will keep a humble attitude and will treat others with respect.
- Be merciful. I will not be vindictive or retaliate when I have been wronged. I will forgive.
- Bless others. I will commend and encourage them for the good they do.
- Guard my tongue. I will keep my words honest and sweet, not harsh and bitter.
- Avoid evil. I will strive to live a life pleasing to God and in accordance with His Word.
- Pursue peace. I will avoid conflict and strife.
If we faithfully follow the spirit of these verses, life will improve for all of us. We will get along. We will enjoy peace in our homes, our churches, our communities, and beyond. Whatever good we do will have a ripple effect, touching the lives of others.
One word summarizes all I’ve said: love. When we love with the same passion as our Lord loves, we will work in unity, be sympathetic, show courtesy and kindness, show mercy and forgiveness. We will bless others, guard our words, and seek peace.
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14, ESV)
I challenge you—make your world a better place. Demonstrate God’s love to everyone you meet.
Prayer: Lord, change me and challenge me to show Your love to everyone. Help me to focus on our similarities rather than our differences, for we are all created in Your image. Show me ways I can make a difference in my world by sharing Your love wherever I go.