Do you struggle with loving your life? Do you wrestle with happiness?
I surely do.
I have a perfectionism streak a mile long and it is very hard for me to embrace chapters of my life if they aren’t “just so”. I often make things so complicated that I miss the joy in the simple things and I forget that life is for living and loving.
Christ said in John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
He has given us life . . . ABUNDANT LIFE and the thief has come to destroy it. The “thief” being referenced in John 10:10 isn’t necessarily “the devil” as most of us think. The Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and the Thayer’s Greek Lexicon (both study tools I use and recommend) describe the word “thief” as “the name transferred to false teachers, who do not care to instruct men, but abuse their confidence for their own gain”
Who or what is your thief? The media? Comparison? Envy? Perfectionism? (that’s mine!)
Is your envy of what media tells you is beautiful stealing your happiness? Is your idea of a perfect life robbing you of loving your life? Do the voices of your past destroy any joy and happiness that may be found in your present and future?
If that is you today, dear friends, know that Christ has come to GIVE ABUNDANT LIFE! He is our Father and what good father wouldn’t want their children to love their life? What wonderful father wouldn’t want to see the best for their children? Our Heavenly Father wants to give us ABUNDANT LIFE and He wants us to live life fully.
I love the simplicity of the Scriptures. If we truly take the time to read and Study the Word, we will see that Christ speaks with such simplicity and grace.
In 1 Peter 3:8-12 God gives us eleven ways to love life and “see good days”. I don’t know about you, but I want to see GOOD DAYS!
1 Peter 3:8-12 says, 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 prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
So here we go. Eleven ways to love life . . . to see good days . . . and to live life abundantly.
1. Be of one mind with each other. (v. 8) The Bible encourages us to be of one mind and to be unified in our thinking; to be in agreement with one another.
2. Be compassionate for each other. (v. 8) I often find that when someone is rubbing us the wrong way causing us to lose site of our happy days, just seeing things from their perspective is enough to melt our cold heart and cause us to find love for them. Compassion. It is a key to loving your life.
3. Be Loving. (v. 8) In the broader sense - to actually love AS a brother or sister would. The love that comes between strong family bonds is the love we should be showering on each other. Love that looks past differences, that looks past mistakes, that looks past hurt . . . this love . . . is the love we must put in practice.
4. Be Tenderhearted. (v. 8) “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
5. Be Courteous. (v. 8) Just be nice to one another. I have seen the meanest people come out of the wood work in the last five years of my life. Just mean. Folks, let’s just be kind to each other. The simplicity of the Gospel . . . Be Friendly! Period.
6. Do not return evil for evil. (v. 9) It is hard sometimes, believe me, but you just have to turn the other cheek, swallow the pride, and let that evil go!
7. Do not return reviling for reviling. (v. 9). The word “reviling” means to criticize in an angry or abusive manner.” If you are criticized in an angry or abusive manner, again, turn the other cheek and move the heck on! I know it is hard. Oh Lord, do I know how hard it is to hold your tongue. But again, loving your life is the key here, not getting the last word.
8. Be a blessing. (v. 9) Specifically here, speak blessings instead of curses on those who desire to harm you.
9. Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. (v. 10) “You aren’t good enough, pretty enough, strong enough. You aren’t a good mother or wife.” Whatever lies you tell yourself (or whatever evil you speak about someone else) . . . stop. It’s evil speech and it does not bring happiness. It’s a thief that comes to rob, steal, and destroy.
10. Turn away from evil and do good. (v. 11) So simple. If you want to see good days and love your life you must turn away from anything that isn’t The Lord. Stop looking for drama, stirring the pot, or creating an issue where one doesn’t exist. Turn away from that evil and do good. Simple.
11. Seek peace and pursue it. (v. 11). This has got to be one of my favorite verses. To love your life, you must seek peace and follow after it with all of your heart. Are you always in the middle of someone else’s drama? Are you always at the center of the latest gossip? If you are, then girl, you left peace in your tracks a long time ago. Get off of that road and find peace and go after it with all of your heart.
The Lord lays out a foundation to love your life and see happy days in 1 Peter 3:8-12. Peter finishes in verse 12 by saying that The Lord keeps an eye on the righteous, but turns His face against those who do evil.
Our Father will give us the strength to live out these eleven principles because He is keeping an eye on us. If your child goes to touch a hot stove, what do you do? You jump up and tell them no because you are keeping an eye on them.
It is the same with our Lord. He is watching over the righteous and He hears our prayers.
If you are one that has done evil, and continues to do so, The Word says that His face is turned away from you. I implore you, dear friend, to repent from those evil ways. Turn to The Lord and give your life to Him. He is there. He is Mighty to Save (Zephaniah 3:17). Turn to The Lord and He will hear your heart’s cry.
I pray that you implement these eleven principles from 1 Peter 3:8-12 in your lives and homes. It is time we all start LOVING LIFE and SEEING HAPPY DAYS. It is time to take the Promises of God and live them out with excitement, passion, and humility.