Seek peace and pursue it.
A friend and I were talking about the themes we noticed in scripture reading, in our lives. For me–the steady undercurrent of seeking peace. Today, it pulls me deeper.
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 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. 1 Peter 3:8-9 (NIV)
Key words standing out to me in this chapter. Sympathy. Compassion. Humility. Love. And I noticed there weren’t any qualifiers here: to love only people who love me back or just people I like or who like me. It just says love one another.
When it comes to loving a neighbor, there are no insults or repayments of evil. There is no passing by and pretending someone doesn’t exist. To stop and show mercy–compassionate treatment of someone in distress (even to an offender!)–Jesus says, “Go and do likewise.”
God got my attention with seek peace and pursue it. He reminds me today I am called to a higher standard of sympathy, compassion, humility, mercy and love.
Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. 1 Peter 3:12-15 (NIV)
Jesus, you are Lord in my heart and in my life. Thanking you again for your reminders to me to seek peace and pursue it. For the story of the Samaritan and the expert’s plain response of mercy. You call me to action: Go and do likewise. To love a neighbor. To bless an enemy. To revere you as Lord. To seek peace and pursue it. In your name. Amen.