HOLY TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH
A Daily Dose of Good News
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
At 10:30 today, this devotional will be offered online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYIWks27eC8
and will remain available throughout the day and the week.
For a printer-friendly version of today’s devotion, please click DDGN 20200519
Good morning! How are you? It’s May 19th and we’re in 1 Peter 3:8-12 for our Daily Dose of Good News.
8 Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 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. 10 For “Those who desire life and desire to see good days, let them keep their tongues from evil and their lips from speaking deceit; 11 let them turn away from evil and do good; let them seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
Here ends the reading.
I think it’s of great comfort that the Lord hears the prayers of the righteous. The Lord’s ears are open to that. Because when there’s a situation happening that involves evil being spoken against us or abuses occurring, those are tremendously difficult scenarios that are pain-filled. They are full of angst. They are extremely destructive. In this passage, it’s not that God is saying that’s ok- that evil is ok or that abuse is ok. But God is trying to encourage us here, not to let that evil and that abuse have more destructive power than is already being issued. So God is giving us an awesome counter-defense which is strategic and which is a great weapon and a great shield. That in this, God is saying, don’t repay evil with evil or abuse with abuse, so don’t keep that destructive spiral continuing or escalating. God is encouraging us, repay evil with a blessing. Well, that’s pretty impossible! Unless you’re really oriented toward God, Unless you’re really praying for God to help you do that. Because those situations are going to agitate us and we’re not going to feel tender-hearted or full of love. So the only way we can get to those places, is to be praying and asking God to put us there. But in that, those tender, loving responses are like a shield. It deflects those wounds of those who are doing evil or who are abusing us. Because it doesn’t let those pierce us. It’s like a shield. So those arrows that are being flung, and those jabs that are being given against us, they kind of deflect off. They don’t pierce us. They don’t wound us as heavily because we’re oriented to the fact that the evil words, the abusive words, those abusive, evil actions are not about who we are. So whatever evil is being spoken, does not define us. Because that’s not how God sees us. God sees us as beloved children of God, who find our essence of being in God and God wants us to remember who we are. Even in the midst of whatever evil and whatever abuse is being thrown. In God’s eyes, we’re art. In God’s eyes, we’re wonderful. And God is helping us stay focused on that, rather than staying in these angst filled places where we listen to the evil, maybe even believe the evil, maybe even think of ourselves as lesser than, and buy into whatever is being spoken or said or done against us. So God is orienting us to change where we focus. Rather than looking in the mirror of evil and abusive behaviors and reflecting that back, it’s about reflecting back who God says we are, which brings us peace, which brings us love, and which brings us good days. So rather than churning in the emotionally destructive pattern, it’s about pausing that, halting that, focusing on God, and having a tender heart. Having a loving, peaceful spirit. Which makes the whole situation endurable. I think in that, it’s helpful to remember that God is sovereign and God brings good out of all situations. So whatever evil is occurring, it’s not the evil who really reigns, it’s God who really reigns and God who brings us to places of wholeness and health and peace. Have a good day everybody! Bye-bye!