Hurting for Good?: No Touch-Backs!

“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:9)

In yesterday’s passage, Peter told this group of Christians to live in harmony with each other, to give themselves away, to show sympathy and compassion, to live like close family.

hurting_350In the very next verse, he seems to admit that families sometimes fight. Some of the angriest, meanest fights I’ve ever had were with the people closest to me. Brothers, especially, can be vicious to each other. If they’re going through hard times, they can really lash out.

Peter admits that even in this Christian family, there will be evil and insults done to each other. How should we respond? Don’t return the favor, he says. Take the hit, and let it go. No, more than that: Take the hit, and give back something good. Stop the cycle right now. That’s how a Jesus follower lives. That’s what we get rewarded for.

Think: Have you ever made the conscious choice in the moment not to “get even” in words or actions with someone who hurt you? How did that feel? What were the results?

Pray: Ask God for the maturity to stop the cycle of traded hurt and insults when it is in your power to do so.

Do: Look for an opportunity this week to hand a blessing to someone who says or does something hurtful to you.