Intro: Has it taken more effort than usual to hold onto the peace in your soul [mind/will/emotions] lately? How about controlling your tongue? Most of us should keep that roll of duct tape handy, because if something unkind enters our minds pretty soon it flies out of our mouths! Sometimes the challenge comes from within our own souls because we face uncontrollable circumstances that rob our peace and leave us frustrated. Sometimes the challenge comes from something someone else says or does that hits our soul like a fiery dart to extinguish our peace. When we are the recipients of some unkind comment or action, the struggle is real because we know insulting the person back or retaliating is not an option for Christians. We are to forgive and bless; we must trust God to deal with the offender, because God opposes the proud and those who do evil (James 4:6; 1 Peter 3:12).
In our passage today, Peter exhorts every believer to pay attention to his or her love walk; whether we are dealing with believers or unbelievers we are to remain humble and kind. At one time, Peter struggled with all kinds of impulsive behaviors toward difficult people, but we can clearly witness the change Jesus has made in Peter’s life. Although resisting the impulse to respond to unkindness or rudeness may bring a kind of suffering to our souls, we are to repay the offender with a blessing! This passage today causes me to ponder the covenant God made with Abraham: “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt” (Gen 12:3). Work to maintain peace in your soul, today. By the way, I have an extra roll of duct tape if you need it!
1 Peter 3:8-12 NLT All Christians
8 Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. 9 Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing. 10 For the Scriptures say,
“If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days,keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies.
Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers.But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.”
Prayer: Lord, thank you for this reminder today about being of one mind with you. Help me to dominate my tongue with righteousness. May I be willing to suffer, if necessary, in order to maintain peace in my soul, today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.