1 Peter 3:8-18a

            Sometimes people say things that are uncaring, insensitive, and even downright stupid – things that do not reflect the gospel of grace.  Indeed, there is enough sinfulness to go around no matter where you go.

            The Apostle Peter gave some practical commands to occupy us in the midst of troubling speech and actions that people say and do.  Rather than responding in kind by verbally decapitating another person, either to their face or behind their back, we are to “have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”  Peter sums it up by saying, “Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called.”

            If we ever wonder or struggle with what God is calling us to, it is clear as a bell in this Scripture.  Grace is our business, and we are not to respond ungraciously to others’ lack of mercy.  If we put our focus on blessing others with these practices, no matter who they are, we will set ourselves apart as people who follow the way of Jesus.  And make no mistake about it:  the way of Jesus is the way of suffering grace.  It does not mean keeping silent; it means actively blessing through a tender heart and a humble mind.

            Humility is the cornerstone of all other biblical virtues.  Every Christian must be ready to accept the things that are not within his/her control, and then respond humbly with love.  If this sounds wishy-washy to you, then I would say you have never even tried it because it takes a courageous strength of faith to put into practice a spirit of meekness.  To this we are called.

            Gracious God, who sent Jesus to humbly suffer for my sins, engraft your humility in me so that I might respond with love in thought, word, and deed to every person and circumstance in my life.  Amen.

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