So then, my beloved brethern, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
No kidding. These past two weeks have been very hard on me and some close friends. There has been hurt. There have been things said. There have been partings of ways, even. All for what, though? Things of flesh? Things of the spirit? What exactly has been accomplished in all that has gone on and all that has been said?
Where has the love been? Where has the light of Christ been? I’m afraid I cannot see it right now. Maybe my own eyes are darkened because of hurt I feel.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
If we go back two verses, though, to vv 26-27:
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
If we search our hearts, we find that it can be a dark place when we have been hurt. How much darker than does the Spirit perceive it, being entirely holy and righteous and us being imperfect and sinful? “Swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” It’s very, very hard to resist our initial urges in painful situations. I firmly believe it’s a complete and utter work of the Spirit that will break us. How much better we are, though, when we approach the throne of God in our brokenness. Broken of sin, putting the flesh to death, and responding in a manner according to the likeness to which we are called!
We are called to blessing, though.
1 Peter 3:8-17
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. For
“He who would love life
And see good days,
Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.
Let him turn away from evil and do good;
Let him seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their
But the face of the LORD is against
those who do evil.”
And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” But sanctify the LORD God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the ope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
I follow God. I go where He leads. I live as He tells me I should. I have a perfect book that agrees in perfect harmony that was wrote over a period of I don’t even know how many years. I’ve heard that it was thousands. It could have been millions and it would not make a difference. It is the Holy and Perfect Word of God. Many of its precepts I cannot accomplish in my own strength. This is one of them. May I be completely broken before God and respond to my brethren in a manner pleasing Him. Praise God!