Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
1 Peter 3:11 NLT
Life Application Study Bible
Too often we see peace as merely the absence of conflict, and we think of peacemaking as a passive role. But an effective peacemaker actively pursues peace. He or she builds good relationships, knowing that peace is a by-product of commitment. The peacemaker anticipates problems and deals with them before they occur. When conflicts arise, he or she brings them into the open and deals with them before they grow unmanageable. Making peace can be harder work than waging war, but it results not in death but in life and happiness.
This morning’s verse is from a message extended to all Christians about Christian living:
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. 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. 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.”
1 Peter 3:8-12 NLT
What a beautiful list:
1) Christian unity of mind and purpose
2) Sympathy towards each other
3) Love each other
4) Be tenderhearted
5) Be humble
6) Don’t retaliate against evil actions or words
7) Pay back evil with blessing
8) Keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies
9) Turn away from evil
10) Do good
11) Search for peace, and work to maintain it
Imagine a world where people actually lived this way — not as an oppressed and heavily burdened people afraid of the harsh consequences of breaking any of the above “laws” — but as a people who knew and believed that this narrow path of dying to self and to having faith and living for God is best.
Imagine a world full of people who are taught and led and empowered by the very spirit of God to overcome their natural tendencies to resist such rules and laws so that they could instead live and appreciate and live ot such things.
Does your imagination look like you, your Christian family, your church?
If it doesn’t yet in your eyes, don’t complain and grumble about the specks you see around you in others — see how you can remove the logs of 1-11 above by the power of the Holy Spirit, by the power of Christ in you, so that you might glorify God with your life today and encourage and not stumble your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Lord, help us in such amazing change in our lives that is contrary to our selfish, prideful nature. Reveal to us what must change, what will change, what you are changing in us — and convict or hearts and minds to walk with you today. Amen.