September 15, 2023

Hello Advent Family,

Perhaps one of the most difficult challenges as a Christian is how we are called to love and treat those who do not treat us well.  Jesus modeled that for us best of all but Scripture is filled with references to this.  We all have people in our lives who do not treat us well.  Do we give it back to them or do we work extra hard to love them well?  Let’s look at Peter’s advice to us in I Peter 3 together today. 

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. 10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. 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.”

I’d I am honest with myself there are times in my life where I have done this well and others where I have failed miserably.  Our natural human tendency is to treat others poorly if they have treated us that way.  Jesus and Peter remind us that we are called to a different kind of life.  We are called to love our enemies.  We are called to treat those who have mistreated us with love and respect.  Just yesterday I had an opportunity for this.  I was in a store and waiting to check out and a woman pushed her way in front of me and several other people.  Her excuse was that she was in a hurry.  One guy started yelling at her and it was getting ugly.  I wanted to send her to the back of the line but I was reminded of this scripture.  She only had one item so I said that I would pay for hers when I checked out.  I passed the test that time but this is a challenge that we all face regularly.  We need to remind ourselves of the example of Jesus who thankfully loved us enough to die for us even while we were yet sinners.  May we all share His love with everyone, even those who mistreat us. 

In His Grip,
Pastor Dave