Qualities of a Blessed Life

Today has been a much more cooler and windy day than yesterday. It seems like the fall weather is creeping up on us to remind us that winter is coming. I met my friend Rod Carlson for breakfast this morning and then talked him into helping me fertilize our peach tree that seems to be on its last leg.

Overall today has been a restful day. I spent most of they working in my office and getting ready for the rest of the week.

Today is our son, Christian’s birthday. That brings to mind that my first CaringBridge entry was one year ago. With the exception of about half a dozen or so times when I was in the hospital, I have been able to write something each day of this past year. This process has been a good discipline for me and is like making public my daily journal. I appreciate those who have been following along and have encouraged me in the process. (Today’s picture is of Christian and wife Bridget from last Spring)

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8,9

I believe all of  us can take hope in Peter. This fisherman with all his rough edges and failures, ends his life and apostleship as a true spokesman of the faith, encourager of the saints and faithful follower of His Lord. It seems that Peter is one who learned from his mistakes. And that is an example we can all work  to emulate. Perfection is not the key, however growth is vital in our lives.

Peter is writing a letter to Christians who are suffering persecution. He encourages believers to understand that the trying of their faith will prove much more valuable than gold. He tells them that they are to “follow in Jesus steps” as they face persecution. The means refusing to strike back and entrusting ourselves continual to the Lord. Yes, this is from the disciple that cut off the ear of the High Priest’s servant in the garden of Gethsemane!

The golden rule says, “do to others what  you would have them do to you.”  The political “golden rule” says, “He who has the gold rules.” The tarnished brass rule says, “do to others before they do to you.” Peter’s rule is, “Bless others regardless of what they do to you.”

It is so tempting to respond to others as they respond to us. I can recall some email exchanges from my political career. When someone called my response “sarcastic and rude” I wanted to write back and say, “you started it!” All I did was comment on how well reasoned and thoughtful their comments were ( i.e. emotional rant)

Peter’s admonition is to have a tender heart and a humble mind and to not treat others as they treat us. He goes on and says this is the way to obtain “a blessing.” This is certainly not going to come from those who oppose us, but from the Lord. And He is the one we should seek to please and not “one up” those who oppose us.

I notice that Peter in the verses above begins with “unity of mind, sympathy and brotherly love.” When persecution comes it is imperative for God’s people to stay united. Some may be facing trials that others are not; that calls for sympathy. Not everyone will respond as they should; that calls for brotherly love. The mind set that brings the blessing is a commitment to the fact that, “we are in this together.” When one part suffers we all suffer, when one part rejoices we all rejoice.

I heard someone once describe wisdom as the ability to learn from others. We can all learn from Peter as we seek to follow his admonition to follow our calling to a life of “blessing.”