Focus: Choosing to bless
1 Peter 3:8-9 (NKJV) Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.
Things didn’t go the way I wanted them to go today. Something that I wanted to happen—didn’t. Isn’t that typical? There are few days in life when everything goes the way we want. Once again, when things don’t go ‘our way’, we have to ask ourselves, “Why is it that I think my way is the best way?” Or, better yet, “Why is it that I think my way is the only way?”
When we’re having ‘one of those days’, we’re often faced with the opportunity to exercise some of the recommendations found in 1 Peter 3:8-9.
It’s hard to ‘be of one mind’ with someone who is telling you you’re not going to get your way. It isn’t easy to just cave in and say, “Okay, let’s do this your way” when the situation is complicated and many other things are depending on things happening ‘your way’.
Do you find it easy to give into people who challenge you? I sure don’t. I live on a tight schedule and try to make good plans. When something interrupts a plan I’ve worked on, it often causes a number of other things to be thrown off. So, it isn’t easy to ‘be of one mind’ with someone when giving up ‘your way’ is going to cause a chain reaction of things you will have to ‘re-plan’, or do again.
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It’s also not easy to embrace the idea that this kind of situation is what God has called us to, so that we may inherit a blessing when we handle it His way.
As difficult as it may be to recognize—if this type of thing is something God has specifically intended for us—we might as well get used to it and try to make the best of it. In the end, it’s less a matter of giving into someone else—than it is a matter of giving into God.
God’s Word tells us to ‘love as brothers’, to which you might quickly reply, “My brother and I never got along anyway.” Even if that is true, try to imagine what you think a perfect relationship with another person would be like. In a perfect relationship, chances are good—you’d be delighted to not do things your way—if it meant that letting go of your plans would bring more unity and joy to your relationship.
The Word goes on to say, that we should have compassion for one another. Well, it certainly isn’t simple to feel sorry for someone who is about to cause you a whole lot of inconvenience, is it? It’s normal to have the feeling that this person is just trying to be difficult and mess things up for you—when maybe it’s not about you at all. Maybe they’re just trying to do their job, and maybe they’re having just as bad a day as you are.
Human nature often wants to ‘even the score’. When someone does something that messes up your plans—don’t look for ways to return evil for evil. If you feel like they’ve said statements that have been unfair or offensive—don’t lower yourself to fight back by saying words or comments that you might live to regret.
The recommendation given to us in the Bible passage we are looking at, says to purposely choose to bless the person who is opposing you, knowing that doing the right thing in this situation may be an important test of your faith in the sight of God.
Maybe a situation you are faced with appears to be one thing—when it’s really something else, entirely.
So, while you feel like ‘biting somebody’s head off’—maybe what you really should be doing, is recognizing that this is the time you need to stop yourself and think of the larger scope of things. If you go ahead and ‘bite somebody’s head off’, you might have a moment of satisfaction—but you may lose a friend, family member, or colleague…forever.
It’s never a good idea to be demanding and rude. Jesus wasn’t like that.
We can build right relationships by choosing to bless.
Declaration: I will find new strength by holding myself back when I am not getting my way. I will look for opportunities to bring unity and not division during times of conflict with friends, family members, and colleagues. I will do the ‘unexpected’ and offer them a blessing instead of a curse.
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