Take That

Dave Jones

"Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.  Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing."  I Peter 3:8-9

I remember reading in a Promise Builders study that, sooner or later, most relationships experience conflict.  Husband and wife, parent and child, employer and employee, teammates, co-workers, and sweethearts; at some point in the relationship, all will experience some level of conflict.

When someone offends us or misrepresents us, what are we to do?  The world's answer is easy:  Get even!  Evil for evil comes naturally.  But if we are growing in the Lord, we'll be uneasy with that response.  We know we're called to do better.  As we determine to be more like Jesus in the midst of our conflicts, Peter's counsel to us is to "be a blessing".  So how could you "be a blessing" when you feel offended, disrespected, or unfairly criticized? 

Verse eight gives you direction to guide your thoughts as you consider how to respond; live in harmony, be sympathetic, love, be compassionate, and be humble.

Martin Luther King, Jr., was a great hero of our time in history.  A characteristic that he consistently demonstrated throughout his life was his response to insult and injury.  He was quoted as saying, "When evil men plot, good men must plan, when evil men burn and bomb, good men must build and bind, when evil men shout ugly words of hatred, good men must commit themselves to the glories of love."

It may take a few conflicts to get it right, but when we do, it will be a new day in our relationships!  God bless you as you turn from evil and do good and seek peace and pursue it.

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