Today's reading: I Peter 3
Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called - that you might inherit a blessing. I Peter 3:9 NRSV
This sounds like good Christian advice, doesn't it? Don't repay evil by doing evil. Don't abuse if you have been abused. Instead, bless those who do evil to you and abuse you. Then you will be blessed.
Enter the real world.
Abuse hurts. It's ramifications can be physical, mental and psychological.
Evil is such an overwhelming force that it is easy to succumb to revenge or depression.
Who can repay with a blessing in those types of circumstances? Well, perhaps those who stand to inherit a blessing can bless in those circumstances. Certainly a mature Christian, one whose faith is deep and wide, could do it. A believer who allowed the Spirit to protect, guide and give courage could do it.
Many Christians at the the time this letter was written suffered more abuse and evil than most of us can dream or imagine. But they were able to stand firm in their belief, pray for their enemies and inherit the blessing.
So, it isn't impossible. We just have to really want to inherit the blessing.
God, many of us suffer abuse and evil. You instruct us to return blessings not cursing on those who cause our suffering. Help us, Lord, to do so at all times and places. It is through the strength of Jesus that we pray this prayer. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims