Hurting for Good?: Hurting in Harmony

“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.” (1 Peter 3:8)

Peter is a writing here to a group of Christians, some of whom are being (or about to be) mistreated because they follow Jesus. He’s about to give them some guidelines for how Christians can live in an honorable way even when we’re going through hard times.

hurting_350He starts with this: Treat each other right. No, that doesn’t go far enough. He really says, “Treat each other as close family.” It’s easy when you’re living through a painful season to excuse meanness. It’s easy to say to yourself, “Everyone will just have to understand how much I’m hurting; I don’t have the energy to be nice.”

What Peter will tell us this week is that’s exactly backwards. God can make our suffering count for something, especially if we’ll live like we’re his in the middle of it. So keep getting together with believers. Look for ways to show sympathy to others (not just yourself). Be compassionate and humble. Give them “family access” to your heart (and visa versa).

Think: Do you live in harmony with other Christians? When you’re hurting, do you get closer or pull away from your Christian family? Why?

Pray: Ask God to help you to treat the believers in your church the way this verse describes.

Do: Look up the word “harmony” in an online dictionary and write down the definition.