“Do good!”

1 Peter 3: 13-22

Peter advises his friends to do good in the face of evil.  “Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? (v. 13)” Well, the definition of “doing good” is often open to debate.  “Nights at Rodanthe,” the movie based on the Nicolas Sparks novel of a doctor who goes to talk to the husband of a patient who died while he operated.  The doctor is convinced he did all that could have been done but the husband is furious about the death of his beloved wife.  Doing good, as we see it, is not always understood as good by the receiver who is looking at the situation from a different perspective.  Peter reasons though that we expect bad people to do bad and retaliate  but when a person returns good for evil, actions speak louder than words.  The doctor in the movie chooses to respond to the husband’s letter requesting a visit and learns through the drama that the husband does not want a visit to blame but to grieve through sharing just how special his wife was.  She was perfect in the husband’s eyes without the operation.

         When we follow Christ’s example and sometimes suffer unjustly as Jesus did, there can be unforeseen benefits that we cannot anticipate.  Christ’s death on the cross resulted in eternal life for all who believe.  Those years of struggle as a college student thinking I would become, well not so certain what I would become, resulted in teaching skills in Kenya that helped young women.  In college I could not foresee that future.  It does not remove the pain but comforts us that God sees a future we cannot.

         Peter draws a parallel with baptism.  We baptize believing and trusting that God claims myself or my child.  We have yet to receive the blessing of heaven but we believe our future holds blessings we do not know now.

         We do good because it calms anger, because it silences slander, because it follows Christ, and because it opens a future that is still unfolding.  Anger and hate poison our souls and our lives so today let us think of a good thing we could do for someone we find difficult to love. Try to be practical.  Perhaps it will be something inexpensive like giving a smile to someone you don’t know but it could be asking God to help you bless someone who has hurt you.  Doing good is not always easy but usually it is the right thing to do.  Blessings as you try!

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