Summary: If we want to love life, we must love people.
The Kid is the story of a successful, high-powered image consultant named Russ, who lives an empty life. Then one day, an 8-year-old boy shows up at Russ’ home. The boy’s name is Rusty and eventually Russ comes to realize that the kid is actually Russ himself when he was eight-years-old.
While Russ struggles to figure out what is going on, Rusty begins to explore the house.
“Chester, Chester. Come here boy,” Rusty calls excitedly.
“Stop that yelling,” says Russ.
“Where's Chester?” Rusty asks.
“Who is Chester?”
“My dog,” Rusty replies. “The dog I'm going to get when I grow up. He's the world's greatest dog.”
“Sorry, no dog here,” answers Russ.
“No dog! I grow up to be a guy with no dog. Why?” the boy says in disgust.
“I don't have time to take care of a dog. I travel all the time for work,” Russ replies.
“I knew it,” says Rusty with renewed zeal. “I grow up to fly jets!”
“No, I'm not a pilot,” Russ answers sadly.
“Then what do you do?”
“I'm an image consultant.”
“Shouldn't there be a lady here,” asks Rusty.
“You mean my wife? No, I'm not married,” replies Russ.
“So, you're almost 40, and you have no dog, you don't fly jets, and you're not married.” The kid flops down on the couch, concluding, “I grow up to be a loser.” (The Kid, Disney, 2000, 00:40:13 to 00:42:33, directed by Jon Turteltaub, written by Audrey Wells; www.PreachingToday.com)
The boy’s disappointment leads Russ to reevaluate his own life, and that’s a good thing for all of us to do every once in a while. Do we love life? And if not, what do we have to do to love the lives we live?
1 Peter 3:8-12 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 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. For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. 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.” (NIV)
Those last three verses are a quote from Psalm 34, which tells us how to love life even when we’re going through hard times. They are Peter’s scriptural support for the way he tells us we should treat people in verses 8 & 9. In other words, if we want to love life, then first of all, we must…
LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
We must love our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. We must love our fellow believers in the church.
This is the completion, the perfection, of life. That word for “finally” (telos) in verse 8, literally means the end in terms of reaching a goal. It can’t be the end of Peter’s comments, because he goes on for another two and half chapters.
It reminds me of the boy who visited his friend’s church and afterward told him, “I like your pastor better than mine. When your pastor says “finally,” he finishes. When my pastor says “lastly,” he lasts and lasts and lasts.
Peter is not coming to a conclusion here as much as he’s talking about the goal of life, the thing that completes our lives, and that’s love! & He uses five adjectives here in verse 8 to describe what that love looks like.
1st, he says, “Live in harmony” – literally, be of the same mind. It’s not that we all have to think exactly alike, but we must at least be playing the same song. It’s like a finely tuned symphony orchestra. The players don’t play the same notes, but what they do play blends together to create beautiful music. So in the church, God wants us to blend together to create a ministry that honors Him beautifully. Be of the same mind. Then…
2nd, “Be sympathetic” – literally, suffer with each other. When one of us hurts, we all hurt. We weep with those who weep. &
3rd, We are to love each other as brothers and sisters. Oh, we may disagree sometimes, but at the end of the day there is nothing that can separate us, because we’re family. Love as brothers, and…
4th, “Be compassionate” – Literally, have good bowels. Now, in the ancient world, people felt with their bowels. Today, we feel with our heart, so we might say, “Be good-hearted.” &