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The Other Cheek


1 Peter 3.9-12
Do 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. For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For 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 1 Peter 3.8-22 Peter addresses the idea of suffering for doing good. Peter knew that the believers would soon face persecution. Peter reminded these believers that they would need unity and love and support from one another. Peter also assured the believers that, no matter what sufferings they might have to face, God would vindicate them and punish their enemies. Rather than fear our enemies, we are to quietly trust in God as the Lord of all. We must believe that Christ, not our enemies, is truly in control of all events. When Christ rules our thoughts and emotions we cannot be shaken by anything our enemies may do.

In our Scripture today, Peter challenges us to live peaceably with others. But do we always respond peacefully? In this fallen world it is deemed acceptable by some to tear people down verbally or to get back at them if they have hurt us. Peter, remembering Jesus’ teaching to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5.39), encouraged his readers to respond to wrongs by praying for the offenders. God considers revenge to be unacceptable behavior, as is insulting a person, no matter how indirectly it is done. Rise above retaliating against those who hurt you. Instead of reacting angrily to these people, pray for them. Verses 10-12 are a quotation from Psalm 34.12-16. How do these verses describe the attitude and lifestyle we should have in order to receive the promised blessing of verse 9? Do these verses describe your attitude and lifestyle? Ask the Lord for grace to live more consistently according to His Word for His glory and your joy and the good of others.

Pastor Jeff
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