Saturday, April 29, 2006

Peter on Blessing Your Enemies

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that your were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. For “He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.” (1 Peter 3:8-11)
Often, our enemy may be one who is in our community, our own church, even our own family. They do us wrong, and we want to return the favor. We want to give back to them what they have given us. But that is not the way to go, Peter says. We were made for much better things, and to respond in much better ways. We were made for blessing — to inherit blessing, to walk in blessing, to extend blessing to others, even those who do us evil and revile us.

If you want to enjoy life and see many good days, give up the idea of paying back evil with evil. Seek peace with your enemy. Love your enemy and bless him. If you find it hard to speak kindly toward him and bless him, then do yourself a favor — shut your mouth. For whatever evil you speak toward him will invariably be a lie. Oh, it may be accurate and based in fact — but it will not be the truth. The truth is that God wants to bring him to the place of blessing and reconciliation. Your curses will not help.

If you want to enjoy life and see many good days, love your enemies and bless them. Then you will be walking in your divine inheritance.