1 Peter 3:8-9
8Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
As Peter continues his discussion of what life inside of the Christian community looks like, we come across this beautiful list of attributes that are most worthy of our attention and intention. I believe that should we, as Christians, actually live this way, evangelism would be a breeze. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this type of extended family?
In this brief list are five ideals for which to strive. When these override the way we live, disputes and conflicts would find speedy recovery rather than continued strife.
Unity of Mind – this is the conscious decision to work together, suppressing our own ego and the fulfillment of our own desires, striving to adapt to the needs of others.
Sympathy – actually being interested in someone else’s problems instead of just your own
Brotherly Love – intentionally wanting to bring good things to someone else and being willing to go out of our way to achieve that goal
Tender Heart – to tenderly and mercifully attend to another’s pain, willing to minister into that pain at the cost of your own wants or desires
Humble Mind – an intentional willingness to think less of yourself and more of others
Bless – Extend God’s blessings to all through your actions and words
Jesus constantly displayed all of these traits as He ministered in the lives of everyone who surrounded Him. He serves as our perfect role model of the life that seeks to bless rather than to take. As I hold up my life to this list, I am aware that I can be this person with regularity. But – I’m not. Far too often I choose to be selfish and brash, demanding to be heard. That behavior does not draw people to my Savior. I pray the Holy Spirit will continue to forge in my heart and mind the willingness to be someone who would bless rather than revile, for that is a much sweeter aroma to the world in the name of Jesus Christ.