1 Peter 3:8-12 (NLV) Teaching for All Christians
8 Last of all, you must share the same thoughts and the same feelings. Love each other with a kind heart and with a mind that has no pride. 9 When someone does something bad to you, do not do the same thing to him. When someone talks about you, do not talk about him. Instead, pray that good will come to him. You were called to do this so you might receive good things from God. 10 For “If you want joy in your life and have happy days, keep your tongue from saying bad things and your lips from talking bad about others. 11 Turn away from what is sinful. Do what is good. Look for peace and go after it. 12 The Lord watches over those who are right with Him. He hears their prayers. But the Lord is against those who sin.”
God comes with expectations for those who belong to him. He expects us to remain connected in his love; to care deeply about one another, as well as grow. We are to model the love, concern, and kindness of our Lord. This passage today is written to believers in order to teach them how to treat other believers. Spiritual maturity and leadership come to mind for me. The truly mature believer realizes his or her call to model righteousness even when immature believers operate in his or her flesh (sin). Maturity calls us to confront the offending believer in love then turn to pray and speak blessings over those who have mistreated us. We are to express unlimited forgiveness. When Peter was upset with a spiritual family member, he went to Jesus and asked, “How many times do I have to forgive my fellow believer who keeps offending me? Seven times?” Jesus answered, “Not seven times, Peter, but seventy times seven times! (Matt. 18:21-22). At first glance this may seem unfair, but God uses the immaturity in others to work for the maturity of his leaders. “It takes a grinding wheel to sharpen a blade, and so one person sharpens the character of another” (Pro. 27:17).
Prayer: Lord, thank you for sharpening my character as I seek to love everyone around me. I realize some will be easy to love and some will not, but help me to pray and speak blessings over all. In Jesus’ name. Amen.