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Be In Relationship With One Another 1 Peter 3:8-9

“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”

The Bible holds the answers we are looking for in all areas of our lives. With the recent bombardment of divisive talk, insults, belittling, dishonor, and disrespect all around us, let’s not forget that we as Christians are called to be, and set, the example for the world. While we will not obtain perfection here on Earth, we can make sure that our faith is lived out in words and actions, so we can speak out our faith to those who have yet to hear and accept Jesus’ gift of salvation.

How we conduct ourselves not only in our homes, but also in the community is the impression others will get of Christ. Are you reflecting His character and leading others to Him? Or are there areas that need some work so that others look at you and ask how you are able to maintain joy, peace, calmness, honor, and respect in a world where these traits have gone out the window? 

I’m not innocent in this area, and do not pretend to be. I have fallen into some of the pitfalls, traps, and rabbit holes that vie for my attention. The problem is, these take time away from where my focus should be…on Christ.

So what can we learn from 1 Peter about how to conduct ourselves in the midst of all this craziness?

First, we learn that we are to be like-minded. This does not mean that we agree with everyone, on all things, at all times. That would negate our uniqueness that God created within each of us. Rather, we can be like-minded in that we treat people like people. We concern ourselves more with relationships than winning arguments. We care about others and provide a space where they can feel honored and safe around us. Again, this does not mean you and the other person agree on everything; and it does not mean we give up our Christianity or back down from the non-negotiables of the faith (salvation through Christ, one God, everyone regardless of race, gender, or nationality fall under the authority of God, etc).

We also learn we are to be sympathetic. Sympathy comes when we get to know another, ask questions, and begin to put ourselves in the other’s shoes. When you are scrolling through social media and see an anger filled post, stop for a moment before you respond and ask yourself what is prompting this person to react or respond as they are, or what they have experienced in the past that is contributing to the hurt and anger? Many times doing a little research on the person can shed light on why they posted or commented as they did, and even the reason for vicious personal attacks on you. When you get to the heart of others, a greater level of understanding can be achieved, and you can earn the right to be a voice in that person’s life.

Loving one another in this passage is referring to brotherly love. It goes back to showing honor and respect and considering others needs ahead of your own. It’s not about asserting your views and insisting on your way in order for others to earn a spot in your life, it’s about honoring life as God honors life. Selflessness comes to mind when thinking of loving one another. In interactions with others, are you looking out for your own interests? Or for theirs? Or both? Serving others and meeting them where they are turns into just as much of a blessing for the server as the servee.

When you think of being compassionate and humble, what comes to mind? Or who comes to mind? Some translations use the term “tender-hearted” for “compassionate”. Did you know the heart is mentioned over 900 times in Scripture?! This is definitely something we need to pay attention to. When you are tender-hearted, you are able to humble yourself to the place where you are willing to have respectful conversations with others, with the goal to hear the other person. This can look like you saying “I don’t agree with you, but I’m willing to hear your side, learn why you see things the way you do, and talk things out. I may see areas where I need to make some changes, and I may not. I may end up in agreement with you, and I may not. Either way, I’d like to understand where you are coming from.”  Have you ever experienced a conversation like this? Where you are listening and listening to understand. Where you are asking questions and trying to see another’s viewpoint. It’s beautiful when it happens! Two people on opposite sides of an issue can leave a respectful conversation with a greater understanding of each other, and a mutual respect, even if they remain on opposite sides of the issue being discussed. If you have not experienced this yet, or there is someone you would like to experience this with, take the initiative to set up an uninterrupted time to talk with this person. Pray about the conversation ahead of time, asking God to open your heart to what you need to hear. And get ready for some beautiful growth to happen!

The Bible holds the answers to all parts of our lives. Even when we see things in the world are getting worse, or wonder where an evil ideal came from “all of a sudden”, we can look back through the pages and see that there is nothing new under the sun. Nothing new here on Earth. Just different people in a different time, and sometimes in a season where the world is allowing evil to hang out in plain sight. 

And when we choose to see people as people, and reflect Christ in our life, we can be sure that this condition of “things getting worse” is not happening because we sat back and allowed it to happen.

Sweet friend, remain in the Word. Make it a point to read or listen to something from Scripture every day. The more you are in the Word, the more the Word becomes a part of you. You are called to influence the world, not let the world influence you. Be sure you put on your armor for the battles ahead.

Reflect Jesus wherever you go.

Be the example to the world of an alternative way to interact with others.

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Pam Spinker
Author-Speaker-Mentor

I help Christian homeschool moms, just like you, thrive in your home and in your walk with Christ. If you question your abilities, or feel like you’re drowning in homeschooling, you’re in the right place! 

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