1 Peter 3:9

Running a B&B calls for a kind of stoicism that translates into patience – patience with circumstances; patience with unkindness that comes from without; patience with untruths that make no sense and hurt deeply; and the stoicism to carry on smiling irregardless. I was reading 1 Peter 3:9 today during my quiet time which kind of sums up how one should respond to malicious acts against one. It says: ‘Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing . . . .’

Maturity in Christ requires one to stand up for what is right, but also to turn the other cheek. It is human nature to retaliate, but the Bible exhorts us in 1 Peter 3:10-11:

Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
and their lips from deceitful speech.
They must turn from evil and do good;
they must seek peace and pursue it.

I think that when I was younger, I would have gone all huffy and puffy when people spoke untruths about us. However, now that I am older and more mellow, my inclination is to lean on the Lord for His solace and help. We are reminded in 1 Peter 3:12: ‘For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.’ Although I do not have righteousness in myself, Jesus has made me righteous or right before God because His blood has washed me of my sins. I think that it is amazing that God, who is holy and great, would stoop down to listen to me and help me, for am I not only a jot in the universe within the whole scheme of things and the long continuum of time?

Of course I still feel annoyed and upset when people are nasty. I am human after all. I also worry about how malice can affect our business and livelihood. But my faith encourages me to trust in the Lord, because ‘surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear’! (Isaiah 59:1)

In the light of the above, I suppose we will simply have to soldier on. The world is full of people both good and bad and those who fall inbetween. As for me, I can only claim the hope that my faith gives me to be continually ‘improving’ because this is what we are told to aspire to. The verse that comes to mind (1 Peter 3: 3-4) is a call to action and I hope that I will continue to be transformed in Christ’s image:

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment . . . . Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

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