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A plea for unity and love among God’s people.

(The following is from DAVID GUZIK COMMENTARY ON THE BIBLE)

 (1 Peter 3:8-9)

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.

a. Be of one mind: Most of us are willing to have one mind, as long as that one mind is my mind! But the one mind is to be the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). Our common mind is to be Jesus’ mind.

i. This command brings us back to the need to know God’s word. We can’t be of one mind, the mind of Jesus, if we don’t know what His mind is. The word of God shows us the mind of Jesus.

b. Be of one mind speaks to the essential unity of God’s people. We are one; but we are not all the same. While we should all be of one mind, we can’t expect everyone to be like us. God has built both unity and diversity among His people.

i. Every cell of your body is different, and each one has its role to play. But every cell in your body has the same DNA code written in it, the master plan for the whole body. Every cell in your body has the same “mind.”

ii. We could say that Christians are to be like a choir. Each one sings with their own voice, and some sing different parts, but everyone sings to the same music and in harmony with one another.

c. Having compassion . . . tenderhearted . . . courteous: Peter describes the kind of warm love that should be among the people of God. We should be compassionate, brotherly, tenderhearted and even polite. Christians should treat each other with love!

i. Remember that this was the measure Jesus gave to the world to identify His true disciples: By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:35). Jesus did not command us to like our brothers and sisters in Christ. But we are commanded to love them, and once we start loving them, we will start liking them.

d. Not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing: The greatest challenge to our love for others comes when we are wronged. At those times, we are called to not return evil for evil, but to give a blessing instead.

i. No dispute, argument, or personality conflict among believers should linger. Even if one Christian gets out of line, the loving response of other Christians should keep the problem small and short-lived.

ii. The natural response to hostility is retaliation. This is what the terrible ethnic conflicts all over the world are all about - one group wrongs another, and dedicates the rest of its existence to repaying that wrong. Only the love of Jesus for our enemies can break that terrible cycle.

iii. Jesus reminded us that it is no great credit if we love those who love us in return; the real test of love is to demonstrate compassion to our enemies (Matthew 5:44-47).

e. That you may inherit a blessing: We love one another, but not only for the sake of Jesus, whose body we are members of. We love one another, but not only for the sake of our brother or sister for whom Jesus died. We also love one another for our own sake - by blessing those who have wronged us, we will inherit a blessing. If you can’t love for the sake of Jesus, or for the sake of your brother, then do it for your own sake!