“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult.”
It seems all too often that we live in a world that is deceitful and broken. We walk around in streets that displays evil and vile acts where one individual quickly reacts to the another’s evil deeds.
Due to that fact that this is the environment where we are born, grow and develop, we also live lives of destruction towards the ones that we should love. In reality, this is a similar realm that Peter was also writing to in the times that he penned his first letter.
This was the purpose of the verses 8-9. For all those that have encountered God’s love should work to live lives of like-mindedness and unity. For those that are suffering from pain and hurt, we are asked to show them compassion and love. We should be urging each other to heal the community around us and not fill it with further evilness.
When we are acting in a different manner than the rest of the people around us, the believer will seem strange and often seen as soft in a world of harsh words. It is all too often that we will splattered with harsh insults and shrill mockery. Yet, we should never repay those actions with the same harmful actions. Instead, we should be compassionate to those that harm other because we sense that they too are hurting. In this we need to be like-minded!
“13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.’
When we understand that those that are hurting will often be the same one that harm others, it is easy to see that there is no need to fear the threats. When we show compassion to those that are hurting, we are blessed because we are blessing those that need the blessing. We are not meant to treat them differently due to their pain, but we are to take the burden that they carry and assist them in their journey. We are to show them the same type of love that Christ has continuously showed us!
“15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”
Even though we show Christ’s love to those that are hurting, it is true that our loving companion will create questions in the minds of those outside of our faith. This is normal and completely acceptable. In those times we are able to answer the curious inquiries. Even when the questions come with criticisms and harsh words, we should answer their questions with gentleness and respect. Their harshness should not rub off on to our words and into our actions. We take the effort to display Christ’s patience and love in the harshest of moments.
Anthony K. Giesick
Actions are taken everyday that help make this world better and I just want to share them with you.