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Respond with love

1 March 2024 ‘Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you.’ 1 Peter 3:9 NLT

Some of the negative people in your life lack intimate relationships. So, they keep others at arm’s length, rarely share their feelings, and are uncomfortable with those who do. They find it easier to condemn than to accept. Their hard-and-fast views make them inflexible. Often these people can’t handle freedom. They need rules that limit their choices, and they only feel secure within their own boundaries. Understanding that will help you deal with them the right way, which is to ‘take the high road’. Peter gives us the rules of that road. (Interestingly, this is now the older, mellower, more spiritual Peter, not the one who whipped out his sword and chopped off the ear of the high priest’s servant.) ‘Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathise with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. 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. For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil”’ (vv. 8-12 NLT). So, the word for today is – don’t retaliate, respond with love.

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