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. (NIV)
I love the transformation of Simon Peter from when he first followed Jesus in Galilee to the last years of his ministry in Rome. When we first come across him in the Gospels, Peter is brash, headstrong, and loud, and sometimes he even creates more trouble for Jesus. The Big Fisherman must have been a handful at times, but I think Jesus loved him for being so much of an open book. “What you see is what you get” could have been easily applied to Christ’s great Galilean disciple.
That brashness also landed Peter in a lot of trouble. How can we ever forget him hanging around outside in the high priest’s courtyard as Jesus was being unjustly tried by the Sanhedrin? And when he was confronted by a girl servant, his fear was so great that he ended up cursing and strongly denying he was associated with Christ. What a humiliating experience for the disciple who pledged to give his life to Jesus just a few hours before!
And then, decades later when Peter was writing today’s highlighted verses, I wonder how much he reflected on the past and recalled his unbound temerity. This more spiritually mature fisherman, who was carefully writing to the young, persecuted church, had completely changed. Rather than being brash, he was humble; instead of being loud and full of himself, he was gentle and full of love. What a transformation!
How I wish and pray that Christians everywhere, including myself, would adopt this spiritual maturity that Peter experienced. Instead of being judgmental, self-righteous, and loud, we should be sympathetic, compassionate, and humble. The world has had its fill of division, hatred, and strife. It’s looking for Christ’s followers to be gracious, show kindness, and share love. If we really want to convince others that Jesus is the Son of God and Savior of the world, then we need to witness truthfully, lovingly, and above all, humbly. Any other way is not Christ’s way at all.
How has my faith matured over the years? Am I willing to share Christ lovingly and humbly?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to be more aware that what we do as Christians is much more effective than what we say. Allow us to grow in faith, so that we may humbly and wisely share Your love. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.