Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Thursday, 10 October 19:
1 Peter 3:2, 8, 9, 15, 16 – “…they see your respectful and pure conduct…. all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for revling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing…. in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
Today’s readings teach about how Christians are to influence others and deal with confrontation – with respect, purity, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender, humble heart and gentleness, while blessing others and attempting to reason with them, never repaying evil with evil and never insulting or condemning those who treat you poorly. Be prepared: If you act this way, people are going to ask for a reason why. If you are looking for opportunities to share the Gospel, today’s readings give you a great way to open the door.
How is possible to act this way? Hope, the power of the Holy Spirit, and a genuine heartfelt desire to honor Christ the Lord as holy – “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.” (1 Peter 3:18)
– James 3:17-18 — But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
– Proverbs 16:32 — Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
– Romans 12:21 — Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
– James 1:19-20 — Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
If your response to maltreatment fails to meet the standard of today’s readings, don’t just try to improve your behavior through will power. Pray that God will strengthen your faith, hope and love.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 10 October 19: Today, watch how you respond to bad behavior from others, and take your shortcomings to the Lord.