“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 grant you his blessing.” (I Peter 3: 9, New Living Translation)
What a novel concept! When we have been insulted or maligned or attacked, we retaliate with a blessing? Yes! That is the inspired advice in this verse.
And what I love about this unexpected response to evil is that it ends with a sweet promise. To bless another is to receive God’s blessing upon ourselves. And what is that blessing? I would say that it is a deep and settled and grateful understanding of Love. It is a conscious inner awareness of God’s peace within and what that means not only for us, but for those with whom we come into contact.
This blessing that we bestow is not a condoning of wrongdoing. It is, rather, the refusal to let God’s own name of Love be lost and our own values compromised, simply because someone has misbehaved or been ignorant. Our blessing is not on the evil act. It is a conscious and loving choice to recognize the Truth of God and His creation right where that devilish liar would try to cast aspersions on Him and on us. It is a magnificent opportunity to lift our thought to God, see ourselves safe in Him, and to do what we were built to do:
To Love. To seek peace. And to bring the power of God’s nature to the very place where it may be most needed and healing and right back to us as well.
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