1 Peter 3:8-9
Finally, be all like-minded, compassionate, loving as brothers, tenderhearted, courteous, not rendering evil for evil, or insult for insult; but instead blessing; knowing that to this were you called, that you may inherit a blessing. (WEB)
In the orphan world system that we live in, if someone hurts us, we hurt them back. If someone insults us, we respond in kind. But the Apostle Peter tells us in today's Scripture reading that there is a better way for us to respond as sons and daughters to our Father.
He tells us that instead of giving out evil for evil, we should instead, be loving, tenderhearted and courteous to those around us. He goes on to tell us that we should not only refrain from evil, but respond with blessings! Now this isn't the first time in the New Testament that we read about this kind of response.
Paul wrote in Romans 12:13... Bless those who persecute you; bless, and don’t curse. (WEB) Jesus told His disciples in Luke 6:27-28... 27 “But I tell you who hear: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you. (WEB) In verse 36 of the same chapter Jesus reveals the reason why we can walk in such grace with others... Therefore be merciful, even as your Father is also merciful. (WEB)
The reason why we are called to respond with blessings when people mistreat us is because we are responding just like our Heavenly Dad would! Since we have been called to inherit His blessing, we do not have to live by the same rules that the broken world system dictates. We don't have to take 'an eye for an eye'. We don't have to insult back when we are insulted.
Because we are a blessed people, living under an open heaven with every spiritual blessing, we are called to discharge blessings to others even in the most difficult of circumstances. Could you imagine how the atmosphere would change in your workplace, if you became a dispenser of blessings to everybody around you? Though they may continue to revile you, every time you send out a blessing their way, you are demonstrating the extravagant love and mercy that your Heavenly Father has poured out on you through Jesus!
May we all become so aware of the immeasurable blessings that are part of our inheritance that we overflow with blessings to everyone we meet... whether they deserve them or not. :)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ; 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and without blemish before him in love; (WEB)
The Fatherhood of God and His everlasting love for mankind is the foundational theme of the Bible.
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