Refrain from Evil

1 Peter 3:10-12
10 For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit;
11let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.
12For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

In support of his instruction (in the previous verses) to be a people of blessing rather than of curse, Peter quotes several verses from Psalm 34. In these words from King David we find some practical ways to live as God calls us to live. There are no mysteries here, but rather practical actions we can take. And there is a blessing for that choice; God’s eyes are upon us and His ears are open to our prayers.

Psalm 34:11-18
11Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good?
13Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.
14Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
15The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry.
16The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

While the list of positive activities seems rather short, it is challenging. As you read the list, consider your day and what it might look like if you employed these practices.

  1.  Keep your tongue from evil
  2. Don’t speak deceit (lies)
  3. Turn away from evil
  4. Do good (serve your neighbor)
  5. Seek peace – pursue it!

Should these five items be my goal for the day, there may have to be some changes! First, I believe I may have less to say and that is never a bad thing. Second, my options for entertainment / distraction become limited as I avoid that which is evil. Third, I spend my time for the benefit of others instead of myself. Yesterday we discussed being people who seek to intentionally bless others. Now we are to intentionally use our words and actions. And ultimately, it’s worth it, because who wouldn’t want the loving God of the universe to look their way and listen to their prayers? For me, these words beg the question, why would we do anything else?