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Lenten Devotion for February 20, 2024: Seek Peace and Pursue It

[Read 1 Peter 3:8–12]

Finally, all of you be like-minded and sympathetic, love one another, and be compassionate and humble, not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you were called for this, so that you may inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:8–9, CSB)

Vitriol fills our airways, dominates social media, and is too often finds its way into our own conversations. Insult answers insult. The Church is called to buck this trend:For the one who wants to love life and to see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit,” (1 Peter 3:10, CSB) Every word a Christian speaks represents our Lord for we are His ambassadors. Therefore, we must ask ourselves: Do our words build up or tear down?

Instead of answering “insult for insult,” we should seek to bless. Our words do not bless when they insult nor bless in speaking what is untrue. We are not called to agree so that we may be agreeable; our words are never to hedge on truth.  But we speak, even hard things, with love for one another, remembering A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” (Proverbs 15:1, NLT)

Pride and wrath too often take control of our discourse setting ablaze “a large forest” (James 3:5-6). Even though our words may be true, we communicate disdain and hate. We are instead called to speak with humility instead of pride. We are to exchange compassion for wrath. We are to speak truth to bless not to curse.

Therefore, putting away lying, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another. Be angry and do not sin. …” (Ephesians 4:25–26, CSB)

We are called to be peacemakers, “to seek peace and pursue it” (I Pe 3:11).” Speak faith clearly, forthrightly, and without acrimony.

“…in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. Yet do this with gentleness and reverence, keeping a clear conscience, so that when you are accused, those who disparage your good conduct in Christ will be put to shame.” (1 Peter 3:15–16, CSB)


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