Today’s reading is 1 Peter 3:1-4:19.
“Finally, 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 reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing” (I Peter 3:8-9).
How many of my own conflicts could be resolved if I would simply follow this instruction? If I sought harmony rather than vindication, if I tried to grasp what the other was feeling rather than vent my feelings, if I viewed my brethren as friends rather than enemies, if I offered compassion rather than vengeance, if I humbled myself rather than lifting myself up, and if I honored others even when they put me down rather than speaking in kind, then I’m guessing most of the conflicts I have had would just go away. And then I would know peace.
Instead, I often push that responsibility off on others. They are the ones that need to straighten up. Before I seek harmony, strive for sympathy, bestow friendship, offer compassion, and humble myself, I explain my demands. Here is what you must do before I will strive for these things. Guess what happens. The conflict just gets worse.
Here is the sad part. I don’t want conflict. I want peace. I want joy. Why can’t we all just get along? The problem is not that I want conflict. The problem is I want peace on my terms. I want peace on the basis that I come out looking like a rose, never once having to admit any of my own faults or ever trying to understand what the other person has endured from me. So, I keep pressing on trying to get peace by forcing others to be subject to me. But what I’m learning is that just doesn’t work. Maybe I should try God’s way and maybe that would get me a little more peace. What do you think?
Keep the faith and keep reading,
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