1 Peter 3:8-22
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
Blessed by Suffering
Today, Peter continues the topic of how to respond to suffering which is undeserved. That is, being punished for something we did not do. In this passage, we are challenged in our responses to those who are evil toward us or insult us. Peter instructs us to continue to respond with kindness and goodness toward those who are in opposition to us. We must understand that we have been called to face this kind of suffering. In fact, in verse fourteen, Peter tells us that if we face this kind of opposition, we are blessed. It is helpful to realize that our godly responses to this kind of suffering will often result in opportunities to share Christ with those who observe us. Peter tells us that we need to be prepared to share with people the reason we can respond with kindness. He tells us to not only be ready with the right message, but also be ready with the right attitude, with gentleness and respect. We need to be able to respond to unjust suffering in the way Peter has described. And then, we should be able to provide an answer for our hope. Finally, we must be prepared to share the message with the right attitude. Do you know what to say?
What can you do to prepare yourself for unjust suffering?
What can you do to prepare yourself to give an answer?
What can you do to prepare yourself to respond with the right attitude?
In light of this passage, what personal commitment can you make?