Here was my experience while perusing through social media last week:
I am not even kidding… one right after the other – from basic stuff like the weather, to edgy political rants that went on and on for days. It’s enough to suck the life right out of a girl (or at least drive her offline for a few days). But then something amazing happened.
And then what flooded my newsfeed?
Attitudes catch on – in online conversations and across our dinner tables – and it got me thinking about the powerful impact our individual “voices” have on those around us.
Peter was noticing it – this wave of dissension among believers in the midst of suffering – so much so that it was time to put a stop to it…
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. ~ 1 Peter 3:8-9
They must have been suffering for a while. Evil was sucking the life right out of them. I’m sure they were weary from the fight. It had even gotten to the point where it was affecting their most intimate relationships. After all, we can only take so much of the pressure cooker before we explode, right?
You’ve tried to remain positive, but everyone around you is constantly bringing you down.
You’ve prayed for your unbelieving husband for years, and still nothing.
You’ve fought your way out of the vicious downward spiral, only to slip up again.
Your prodigal child has broken your heart once more.
You submit to God, only to be ridiculed for your beliefs.
You give and give and give some more, and you wonder when it’s going to be your turn. “When will anyone ever see me? Love me?”
I get it. I’ve been there.
One person complains, and it’s contagious. Misery really does love company. The truth is the solidarity may even make us feel better momentarily – to know that we aren’t the only ones out there suffering in the wilderness. But like I tell my kids when I break up a quarrel among them…
There’s already enough negativity in the world.
You were made for more than this.
Since Jesus has changed you, live like Jesus has changed you.
Let blessing begin with you.
It’s never easy to break the cycle, but someone has to if this world is ever going to be different.
Jesus broke the cycle.
The world was in a downward spiral of negativity and sin. Evil abounded. Quarrels divided. Nations disagreed on power, politics and on the validity of a man. Could he be the Messiah, or was he nothing more than a series of parables and empty promises?
And then the empty tomb.
Life. Victory. Celebration. Hope. Truth. JESUS.
Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. ~ 1 Peter 3:10-11
Has the resurrection changed you? I mean really changed you?
Then the law of kindness will be on your tongue (Prov. 31:26).
Your words will build up instead of tear down (Eph. 4:29).
You’ll speak true words saturated in love (Eph. 4:15).
You’ll serve an abundance of blessing instead of revenge (1 Pet. 3:9).
As much as it depends on you, you’ll live in peace with all men (Rom. 12:18).
Because there’s already enough pollution in the air around us. Because Jesus died for that. Because God gets glory when I live in a way that is countercultural to every last bandwagon that secular culture elevates above the name of my Savior.
We were made for more than this.
Since Jesus has changed us, let’s live like Jesus has really changed us.
Father, let the blessing begin with me…
At His feet,
*LET’S TALK: Where do you need to begin this week?