Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. - 1 Peter 3:8Peter the Apostle writes these words to the believers in his day to have a lowly mind towards others in the body of Christ and in the world. You can imagine that he recalls all the scenes where Jesus was maligned, spoken against and cursed. Times when Jesus was brought to the edge of the cliff and what a miracle that he walked away from it unscathed. He saw through all the difficulties of his earthly ministry that he did not open his mouth to sin against others. He was the great example of love, humility, compassion. It sometimes is very hard to be compassionate to others when we have never received compassion or to be sympathetic when we were never treated in such a way. Paul the Apostle shares with the believers that he was able to be compassionate with them because the Lord was compassionate with him in his trials (2 Corinthians 1). To be humble is just not just something we choose to do but something we choose to forbear when others insult or belittle us. God can give us the grace to humble ourselves in any situation so that we can be compassionate and gracious. The ultimate example of this is found in Jesus Christ on the cross who at that moment should have had the right to defend himself but rather shows compassion to those crucifying him.Chrysostom says, "For nothing is so acceptable to God as to number one’s self with the last. This is a first principle of all practical wisdom. For he that is humbled, and bruised in heart, will not be vainglorious, will not be wrathful, will not envy his neighbor, will not harbor any other passion." When we put ourselves down to the last what we do is see ourselves as a servant to all. When we all ourselves to go low we can encourage all others. The Apostles put themselves last (1 Corinthians 4:9) so they were able to serve and uplift all. There is no greater place in this earth then the place of helping others, serving others, blessing others. Though we should be served let us serve. Though we should be first let us be last. Follow in this way of humility and God will smile upon you and you will be a light to others and they will glorify your Heavenly Father.
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon