April is L-Plate month, where I’ve turned over this website to my students. They are studying an introductory preaching subject this semester, and writing for this website is part of their assessment, as well as a learning exercise for them. I’m hoping you’ll interact with them a bit via the comments function at the bottom of each post, offering some feedback. (Particularly, feedback that’s constructive or affirming – they’ve got me to deliver the negative stuff! Remember, some of them will never have preached before, and some have English as their second language.) They will then incorporate this feedback in a sermon they present in class at the end of semester.
We continue today in 1 Peter.
1 Peter 3:8-12 | Jason Kim
To be honest I am really terrible at putting words simply for other people to understand about the things that go through this mind of mine, but in todays blog post I would like to talk about the benefits of doing good. I hope that as we explore this passage together this will be as valuable to you as it has been for me.
Before we actually get into the topic, as we are complete strangers I feel the need to share something about myself before we get into the passage. I want to tell you of when I first became a new born Christian. This was when I was in year 12 at the end of high school I thought that being a good person was easy, I thought it was only about helping others, giving to charity once in a while and respecting the people around you. Now that I reflect back on what I thought was right I realised that there is a lot more to being a good person and it isn’t an easy path.
When you look around the world today there are so many people that are able to speak about being a good person but what does living life as a good person really look like? And how is this achievable?
If we look at the context of this bible verse Peter is talking to the church in a society were it was normal for Christians to live in harsh persecution, and they were also being treated unfairly and were executed. It would be normal for the Christians to want to retaliate back to those that have treated them badly and to speak dodgy language (swearing, insults) back at the persecutors is my view of this situation.
I bet if I asked anyone on the street right now, “how would you react if you saw one of your own family members being attacked it could be by abusive language, actions, or violence in Australia”? Most people would be enraged and want to retaliate back with means revenge against the people that have attacked their loved ones.
Look I’m not saying that they aren’t good people for wanting to retaliate back but for myself I’ve always wondered why should I do good to those that have done bad to me? This might have been a pretty harsh example but it sure did get me thinking.
If we look at Verses 8-9:8-9 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 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.
Peter is trying to remind the church to be Good to those that do treat you badly, and don’t let lies and dodgy language come out of your mouth.
When we continue on to verse 10 it says:10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.”
The bible tells us, be self-controlled with how you would react and speak towards bad actions towards us personally by not using dodgy language like swear words and insults, and rather than retaliating back why not bless those that do bad to us by showing kindness and gentleness? This is what the Bible tells us today. The truth is I know how I would react if I saw one of my loved ones being verbally abused or physically bullied or assaulted if I didn’t know about the Hope that Jesus was and is, I know exactly how I would react.
I want you to know that through my journey with Jesus I have begun to grow as believer of Jesus Christ; He is my Hope and reason for me not to continue in my old ways of retaliating with violence, or verbal abuse, there are certain consequences for actions of retaliation.
For example, I know of people that were not able to control their emotions in a certain situation and have ended up regretting what they had done, and end up losing more important things in their lives from that one moment of not being able have self control.
Now I’m not saying that this story will be exactly the same for you but what I’m trying to show you is that there is Hope that comes through accepting Jesus in your life and this creates positive outcomes out of threatening situations like with persecution or when people are treating you badly and unfairly.
So the question was why should I do good to those that do bad to me? And what are the benefits of doing good?
Here in verse 12 it pretty much sums up what I just said:12 “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
God looks upon those that are good and He listens to their prayers, Know that there is a God who is greater than the situation you face and continue to have hope in the ways Jesus teaches us which is (be a good Christian by not repaying bad for bad but with good) because it says that God is against those that do evil (repay bad for bad). I would rather be with God than against God. Sometimes my actions are not perfect my ways are not good, but because I have chosen to accept Jesus in my life I have the option in choosing to be a good person. Without Jesus I would definitely be living in disgrace and I would miss out on the blessings God shows to his people that live righteously by his word and that blessing is knowing that Jesus did die and resurrect for you in order to set us free from the power of death.