Are you someone who likes to know the theory or the practice?
1 Peter 3:13-18
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.” 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 behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.
Are you someone who likes to know the theory or the practice? Many of us fall into either category. Some of us want to know how it all fits together and the purpose behind things. Others of us would rather just cut to the chase and find out what needs to be done to make things work.
So for the practical ones among us Peter’s words can be refreshingly simple. Almost like a proverb. 13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?
Do good. It works.
The first readers of Peter’s letter were going through some fierce persecution for being Christians. How should they respond? Peter echoes the words of his Lord: Love your enemies. Peter calls us to repay evil done to us, not with evil in but with good in verse 9.
He then gives a whole bunch of theological reasons for doing good but right in the middle is this very practical reason.
If someone is hurting you and you hurt them back that is just going to encourage them to hurt you further. But what if you didn’t respond the way they expected? What if you met their hurt with an eagerness to do them good? How might that change the relationship? How might that change the cycle of retaliation but also lead them beyond you to the source of all good?
Head: Are you someone who looks for the theory or the practice of something?
Heart: Is there someone who you may be in a cycle of retaliation of hurt with?
Hands: How can you be eager to do good to them this week?
Prayer: Dear Father, thank you for retaliating to my hurt of you with the good of your Son. Please help me to break the cycle of hurt and retaliation with the good that you have shown me. Please use this small token of your goodness to me to start your work in those who hurt me.
A song to listen to: Furious https://open.spotify.com/track/7v0AHAkJDYWwVzme2YD8Iv
This Grow Daily was originally posted as part of the Must See Passages series in 2016. During the School Holidays we take the opportunity to look back at the best of Grow Dailys over the years.