I am participating in a Blog Tour through Kregel Publications for the Bible Study – 1 Peter: Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times by Sue Edwards. Each week from January 15 – March 11, I will be blogging through my experiences with this study, posting my opinions and insights as I learn more about the book of 1 Peter. I’m really excited to be participating in this study and am looking forward to what I learn over the next nine weeks!
About the Book
The letter of 1 Peter was heard by women who knew times like these. This newest addition to the Sue Edwards Inductive Bible Study series digs into 1 Peter and takes a look at the stories of real women–past and present–to teach today’s woman how to stand faithful to God regardless of her trials, however severe.
Week 6 - 1 Peter 3:8-12
This week’s focus was only on four verses, but they are an intense four verses! I’m going to discuss verse 9 as it spoke to me the most. Here is what it says:
“Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.”
I know that God brought these verses to me this week for a reason. My pastor gave a message last week on forgiveness and bitterness and what God calls us to do as the body of Christ. It emotionally wrecked me for the entire day. I realized that I have been holding onto some resentment and bitterness and I’ve let it define my relationship with a particular person. But, it finally hit me. I keep expecting that person to change. But, regardless of whether or not that person changes, I need to change how I react to this person and let go of these unhealthy feelings. Is it going to be easy? Probably not. But with Jesus’ help I know I can do it.
This is what verse 9 is calling us to do, too. Even if we do not outwardly retaliate when we are wronged, we cannot hold bitterness and resentment toward someone either. Peter tells us that we should pay them back with a blessing because that is what God has called us to do. In the moment, I know it can be difficult, maybe impossible to take the higher road. But, Peter tells us that if we do that, God will bless us for it. And, you know what I think? I think that if we take a moment to let our initial anger pass and respond with peace instead, we will feel better ourselves.
Is this easier said than done? Yes. But with Jesus we can do anything. Don’t be afraid to ask for His help. I’ve been holding onto this resentment and bitterness for over a year now and I didn’t even realize it until a week ago. Those feelings have a way of laying in the heart and wrecking relationships and you don’t even realize it. But, Jesus continues to work on me and make me into a better person. So, I trust that he will continually and faithfully guide me into the person He created me to be.