Another selection from The Quiet Place: Daily Devotional Readings by Nancy Leigh DeMoss that is too good to keep to myself:
Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. ~ 1 Peter 3:10
I like to think of Peter having a particular person in mind when he wrote these words (actually lifting them from Ps. 34, as those who make a habit of living in the Scriptures are able to do). I can almost imagine someone having complained to the great apostle about a situation in his or her life — some cruel injustice, some harsh circumstance, some difficult relationship. “How am I supposed to handle this?” the man or woman may have asked Peter, hoping he could offer some wise counsel to help alleviate the problem — or at least fix the person who was causing it!
But instead, Peter shifted the perspective away from the place we often like to keep it– on the troubling issue itself, as well as on its chief offenders — and put it back on the opportunity embedded within the problem. This ordeal is a place to “do good,” an opening for the offended to “seek peace” in the midst of strife (verse 11).
Yes, the situation may hurt, and yes, the whole thing may be grossly unfair. But fixing the problem is God’s business, whose “face is against those who do evil” (verse 12). Demonstrating His character so that He gets ultimate glory — that’s our business.
We are so driven to avoid being hurt, to dull the pain, to take the aspirin. But we need a theology like Peter’s that goes beyond the aspirin — a life that doesn’t run from the cross but is actually all about the cross. Some of our worst headaches may not go away this side of eternity, but each one holds potential for a “good” and godly response from us.
Is your energy focused on trying to stamp out your problems or on seeking to handle them with grace, humility, and faith?