February 16, 2020

1 Peter 3:8–12 (ESV) — 8 “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For ‘Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; 11 let him turn away from evil and do good; let him 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.’”

Many people, including some Christians, struggle to love life. Countless books and seminars claim to offer the secret to enjoying “the blessed life”. The Apostle Paul, in quoting from Psalm 34, shares two basic keys.

The first key to loving life is to gain control over our words. Of course, this can only be done as we prayerfully submit to the power of the Holy Spirit. Here are six questions we can ask ourselves to identify areas we need improvement:

  1. Do I blame others?
  2. Do I use discriminatory speech?
  3. Do I boast about my accomplishments?
  4. Do I criticize others who I feel don’t measure up?
  5. Do I use profanity or the Lord’s name in vain?
  6. Do I tell lies or “shade the truth?”

As we trust God to guard our words in one or more of the above areas, we will begin to see changes in the words we use.

The second key to loving life is to gain control over our behavior. Simply put, we are to turn from evil and do good. True goodness will lead to peace in relationships. Are there any broken relationships you need to mend? Ask God to give you wisdom and compassion as you reach out in reconciliation to those that have hurt you or you have hurt.

The good life… it’s found through good words and good behavior that reflect the character of Christ.

“Father God, I want to love life the way You intended to be. Even more importantly, I want to glorify You. Search my words and behaviors to see if there are any evil ways that need to be changed. Help me to humbly rely upon You to transform my character. I want to be more like Jesus in what I say and what I do. In His name, Amen.”