1Pe 3:8-9 “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.”
When we read or use the word “finally,” we often associate it with the conclusion of a matter. While that is one of the definitions, it also indicates a result or a goal. The instruction in God’s word is perpetual. Seldom is it about reaching a point where we can stop, but rather about obtaining results that glorify and honor Him. Since the half has never been told of His goodness and love, we need to pursue the result of honoring Him every moment.
Peter states that one of the specific results being sought after in the counsel he has been giving is to be of one mind. When people are left to their own devices, being of one mind (reaching a state of harmony) is virtually impossible. We cannot lose sight of the One Peter has been constantly pointing to in all this instruction. We must have the Father and Son dwelling in our hearts. We must have the Holy Spirit guiding our steps. Only in the presence of the Triune God do we find the strength and grace to be submissive and meek without being weak and timid. With God as our anchor, we can be steadfast in our service to Him. We cannot be of one mind when each one insists on going his or her own way. When we are blessed with the mind of Christ (1Co 2:16), then we can walk in the way that is acceptable unto Him.
It is acceptable unto Him when we compassion (are sympathetic) toward our brothers and sisters: not just the ones that attend our meetings, but the “strangers” also. It seems it is so easy for us to condemn when someone stumbles. This hardness in us testifies that we have forgotten that we were purged from our sins (2Pe 1:9). I cannot condemn others when they stumble if I am honest with myself about all the times that I have stumbled. The result of following the instruction of God and being of the mind of Christ is that we are able to be sympathetic to our other brothers and sisters. Instead of our first reaction being to condemn them, our first reaction is to pray that God would be merciful to them as he has to us.
In following the instruction of God, we are able to love each other with tender compassion and kindness. We are blessed to enjoy the result of fulfilling Jesus’ command to love each other like He loves us (Joh 15:12). Instead of looking for some way to retaliate in kind when we are wronged, we are able to bless those that have wronged us. This, too, is the mind of Christ as evidenced by His rich blessings on us even when we were dead in trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1). The blessings of Jesus in our lives gives us the ability to see (know) that we have been called unto blessing.
We have been called to bless the family of God. Instead of teaching retaliation, we should be examples of the bold meekness of Jesus. We are sometimes prone to think that Jesus was not showing humility when He drove the money-changers from the temple with a “scourge of small cords (Joh 2:15)”. But the truth is that His humility and meekness, His tenderness toward the desire of His Father, prompted this action. His anger was sinless because it was grounded in His humility and subjection to the will of His Father in Heaven. In like manner, even when we take a stand (sometimes being angry) for what is right in the sight of God, we need to do so from a spirit of submission to God’s will. It should never be to simply prove “I’m right and you’re wrong.”
When we are called (chosen) by God to render blessing for evil and railing, then we have the promise that blessing becomes our inheritance. Our Father has so much love for us that He provides for us consecration in doing His will. He gives to us adoration in our obedience unto Him. He demonstrates in our lives the truth of His existence and power. What a great blessing to be counted a vessel worthy of bearing about the life of Jesus in these mortal bodies!
May we indeed be blessed and be a blessing as we live our lives according to His holy purpose!