By Andrea Chatelain
“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-9
Even Christians can act rude, hurtful, and prideful. Many of us have been legitimately wounded by fellow believers, and sometimes by church leaders. We aren’t alone in the battle for unity, and it helps me breathe a sigh of relief that the early church, whom Peter, the author of today’s verse, spoke to, struggled with the same thing we do today—pride.
Recently I sat down with some church leaders and left the conversation feeling misunderstood and judged. My first reaction was bitterness. I was ready to quit and find a new place to serve. Then after seeking wise counsel, praying, and opening my Bible I felt God giving me a clear command. Seek peace. Pursue unity to bring Me glory.
Today’s verse is exactly what gave me strength and comfort to respond humbly instead of harshly when I felt wronged. Peter was talking to Christians, urging them to live in peace with each other for the sake of Christ.
How does He tell us to do so?
We must show compassion and humility when our injured pride wants to choose bitterness. We intentionally speak kindness and blessing in the face of insult. It won’t be easy. But God promises that even if we are rejected or misunderstood by man for our faith, we are counted blessed in His eyes. Living in that truth helps our wounded hearts mend and forgive.
Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She's part of the Wholly Loved Ministries team, is a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. It’s her joy to lead Bible studies in her neighborhood, church, and community because she believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers. Connect with Andrea more online at www.afruitfulwoman.com.
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Originally published Sunday, 29 September 2019.