“Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.” – 1 Peter 3:8 (NLT)
Peter goes from giving instruction to husbands and wives, straight into the attitudes that believers should have towards each other. Sympathy, love, tenderheartedness, humility. These are all things that I see as lacking in the Body. One may walk in some level of some of these, but I do not see a completeness of the four. Love, true Christlike love, is really the root of the other three attributes. Which is what this all boils down to. When we gain an understanding of what it means to walk in love like that of Christ, then we can truly begin to understand how to be tenderhearted and humble, and how to walk in sympathy.
This leads to walking in a life that does what is right, no matter what. Peter goes on to say, “But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.” – 1 Peter 3:14-15 (NLT)
We don’t see a lot of people willing to stand up for doing what is right in the face of opposition. People will do what is right, but only until it becomes uncomfortable or awkward. Or they will only do what is right if it is in alignment with what they want to do. And they don’t even think twice about it. I’m not talking about the world. I am talking about those who profess Christ with their lips, yet deny Him by their way of life. Peter quotes the Psalms a few verses prior, which gives us a clear picture of how God treats those who do not do what is right:
“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.” – 1 Peter 3:12 (NLT)
So what is right? Well, we have discussed that already. The right thing to do is to live a life of holiness unto the Lord. Anything that is not in line with the commands and will of God is evil. Doing what is right means walking in righteousness. This keeps us in right standing with the Lord.
And more than ever, this key pillar of being a follower of Christ is important and necessary.