Summary: 1 Peter 3:8-9 gives us a descriptive picture of how we should treat each other. It offers a positive look at how we should act, a negative look at how we shouldn't act, and, a look at how our love for one another will bring a blessing.
Today, let's take a look at some instruction from the Holy Scriptures on differing attitudes.
Attitudes what a difference they make in every part of our lives!
Different attitudes of cashiers under certain circumstances.
Friendly, pleasant, courteous, smiling
If situation becomes difficult does best to resolve
If customer becomes intense keeps focused on finding solution
Never speaks back
Acts as if you’re not really a human,
If situation becomes difficult acts irritated or angry
If customer becomes upset the cashier does things to
intentionally cause further problems
Cashier wants to find you outside the store and run over you
with their car
1 Peter 3:8-12 (NLT)
“Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.
“Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and He will bless you for it.
“For the Scriptures say, ‘If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
“The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and His ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns His face against those who do evil.”
The book of 1 Peter was written around AD 60 which was about 30 years after the crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Jesus.
It is a general letter written to be circulated among the churches in the five regions named in the first chapter of the book.
At that time persecution of Christians was common although it was not universal. It seems that it was localized according to the authorities in that area but not condemned by the over-arching government of Rome. (much like it is in China today)
In the preceding seven verses Peter has given some instructions to husbands and wives as to how they are to treat each other in various circumstances, but here, he gives us some general instructions as to how we should treat each other.
It is obvious that he is speaking about how Christians should treat other especially in verse 8 which says,
“Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.”
Wow! That’s quite a list, isn’t it? Have you ever thought what an inverse image of certain Scriptures would be? I mean, what if it was saying the opposite of what is actually written?
“Finally, all of you should hold your own opinions in the highest regard. Everyone should feel sorry for me and I don’t really care about how you feel. Hate each other as mortal enemies. Be unloving and hard hearted and while you’re at it, be arrogant!”
We’ve all most likely seen movies where there are young people in an orphanage and on certain days the orphanage will allow people to come in and view the boys and girls to see if there is one they wish to adopt. Of course, everyone is on their best behavior because they all want to be adopted.
Now, let’s take that scene and turn it around. Suppose there are two families that wish to adopt a child. Each family is having a huge family reunion and the child will be taken from one family reunion to another and then they will make a choice as to which family they wish to join.
When they arrive at the first family’s gathering no one notices because everyone is out back.
The child peeks around the corner of the house and sees twenty to thirty people smiling, chatting, children playing. Some are having a serious discussion but they are still congenial. An older man is having difficulties walking across the lawn and someone jumps up to help him. Some of the kids in the family are pushing each other on the swing set. Another adult seems to be comforting a relative who is grieving over some loss and everyone seems to have a servant attitude. Everything is relaxed, no tension, just lots of love. When the orphan comes around the corner she is noticed and everyone comes over to give her a hug and to greet her. She immediately feels welcomed.
After a while the orphanage worker takes her to the second family’s home and on arrival the scene appears to be the same. No one notices them because everyone is out back. The child peeks around the corner of the house and screams! Some of the adults are yelling at each other. An older man who was having difficulty walking across the lawn falls down and another man just steps over him in order to get another drink. Kids on the swing set are getting pushed off the swings by other children so that they can swing. A woman is crying over the death of her husband and a relative is telling her that it’s his own fault for being such a jerk. Everyone seems to be arrogant and want their own way. The child works up her nerve and walks around the corner only to be ignored by some and screamed at by others.