In our devotional this past week, this verse from 1 Peter made an impression.
”Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.”
I have to admit, I reacted with skepticism. Really? How is this possible? Like-minded??
Peter was writing to persecuted Christians who had fled Jerusalem. But his words remain as a strong message. And my immediate question was how?
Never have I seen a culture so divided, polarized, opinionated. Some of the posts I see are downright mean. I call myself a Christian, but the sadness I feel at times overwhelms me. Are we known by our love? Too often I have seen the opposite.
Years ago, I read a book called “What would Jesus do?” It was quite revolutionary for our times, challenging us to step out of our cultural norms and expectations and think about Jesus in a new way.
Jesus was revolutionary, he demonstrated love for all, he showed us the way. Do I love like Jesus?
He also spoke up for the oppressed, and challenged the religious leaders of his day with their wrong and so-called righteous thinking.
So I feel challenged by these words, and often ask, how do I live? I love the words from the prophet Micah, who asks the same:
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly[with your God. Micah 6:8
I can’t change the world by criticizing or pointing fingers or pushing my point of view. But I can speak out for the oppressed, the marginalized, for those who don’t have a voice. That is acting justly; loving mercy.
Not with the stance that I have it right, none of us do. Maybe that is part of humility. To truly listen to others, to hear their stories.
And above all, to keep choosing love in our messy world.
I found another translation, which says to live in harmony. Perhaps that is a clearer way to be with others, because in truth, we are not like-minded. But we are challenged to live lovingly, peacefully, and as much as possible, harmoniously.
May God help us all!