Having given instructions to how to live under authority, slaves with masters and living in marriage, Peter now closes off his household code with the wide-ranging ‘how to live within community’.
“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. 10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. 11 They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. 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.” (1 Peter 3 v 8-12)
Here are 6 qualities that we all should strive for. They should be in the centre of all our decisions and our responses and our ambitions. The Church is a body of sinners saved by grace. I accept that. But we must all do far more to be a good person as the Spirit helps us.
- Be like-minded: if the Church is divided what will happen when the world attacks the church?
- Be sympathetic: if the Church cannot think less of themselves and stand in the place of the pain of another how will the world ever see what Christ has done?
- Be loving: if the Church does not show love then how will the world know love?
- Be compassionate: if the Church cannot weep over the predicament of others then how will the world know the tender heart of the Father?
- Be humble: if the ego of the Church drives it to humiliate others instead of humbling itself then how is it any different to the world?
- Be a blessing: if the Church retaliates and cannot be gracious to those who hurt them then how will the world see the blessing of God on the Church?