Be humble, compassionate and loving

Pulpit Reflections

They say you hurt most the ones you love. 

Probably with those to whom we are closest we are less cautious and less likely to worry about making a good impression. So we probably do more easily hurt our loved ones than some stranger we might meet on the street. 

In times of stress or suffering, as Peter expects for his audience, that tendency gets worse. So now, after telling us how to deal with people outside the church family, he gives directions for dealing with each other (1 Peter 3:8).

First he parallels two ideas – to be in harmony and to be humble. We need to learn to live in peace with each other. That means we don’t always get everything we want, but learn to compromise or let others have their way. This means we must be humble, placing others ahead of ourselves. Humility doesn’t mean we must think poorly of ourselves; instead we need to think of others as at least as important as ourselves.

Secondly we are encouraged to have sympathy and a tender heart. Sympathy means we understand or even share in the emotions of someone else. We rejoice with the rejoicing and mourn with the mourning. Being truly tender-hearted leads us do something for others, whatever we can to meet someone else’s need. 

The holiday season is often a time when we find ourselves wanting to meet the needs of others.

Finally, Peter calls Christians to brotherly love. Love for each other is the foundation for each of these attitudes toward each other, reflecting the love commanded and demonstrated by Jesus himself. 

We live in a world that seems very angry. How different we would seem if we could be humble, compassionate and loving toward each other! 

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