Skip to main content



This weeks word prompt was the word blessing.  Normally that makes me think about counting blessings and growing gratitude. A kitchen splattered spiral notebook that holds my blessings in barely legible scrawl.  For my eyes only.  Daily reminders to ponder God's goodness.

Or blessing leads me down a table of pies, stuffing, and gravy bowls and families circled up table side mentioning a few blessings of the year.

But today I read this verse containing the word blessing and my mind ran down a different trail...

"Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult.  On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing." 1 Peter 3:9

The verses that follow this admonition discuss a promise of blessing for those who don't engage in evil for evil behavior.

"For, 'Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.  They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.  For they eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.'"

As a high school student  I carried this exact passage around in my Jansport book bag pocket. I repeated these words in to myself.  Frequently.  It was one of my verses.  I can picture the tattered piece of paper that said 1 Peter 3:10 in smudged sharpie.

Reading these verses again mixes nostalgia with the sting of regret in all the ways I haven't lived up to these words.

Hitting Home Ministries addresses these verses in this way (speaking to wives),

"A foolish woman may be right in her assessment of her husband’s faults and failures, but she is often unwise in how she responds to them. She fails to see that her negative reactions to his negative behavior are just as unbiblical and selfish in nature as his actions. She also fails to see how ineffective her emotional responses prove to be." (The Difference Between a Wise and Foolish Woman).

I thought about how these words have played out in my marriage.  I thought about how often these words have played out in my relationships with friends and family. Or strangers I brush up against and get rubbed the wrong way. I thought about how they have played out with broken friendships, ended relationships.

Often times it is our reaction to evil that becomes evil and makes us equally guilty. 

Like a cycle of evil. I pay back evil with evil and other people get hurt.

I think it is interesting that Peter warns not to pay back evil with evil or insult with insult because by doing this we may inherit a blessing.

We don't become the evil that was given to us.  We rise above. 

It is so true that often the evil I receive I become (and worse) when I decide to pay back. 

When I sling mud it boomerangs and comes back to me, leaving me filthy too.

I don't think I've ever repaid evil for evil and felt good about it later.  Like eating poison it only perpetuates the pain.  I suppose that's why Peter includes this call to seek peace and pursue it. 

Often times I see things  from my view only. My gaze is glazed over by my painful experience. I can quickly distort the picture from my perspective and lose the focus making me more willing to repay evil for evil. Making my lips deceitful and distorted like the above passage describes.

Lysa TyrKeurst writes about a friendship ending messy in her book Uninvited.

She discusses all the ways she wants to inwardly justify herself in the ending relationship.  The internal gavel she can swing to declare herself not guilty. Her wrestle with the "piercing of two souls" in the ending of a friendship.  She offers the strategy that God gave her.

"Truth says I have an enemy but it's not really her.  She may very well be the cause of some hurt in my life, but she's not my enemy.  And I may very well be the cause of some hurt in her life, but I'm not her enemy. We have an enemy, and it's not each other." She describes the strategy God gave her to make a small list of positive things about this person as a weapon against the Real Enemy, Satan, the divider of Souls.

I want that.  I know sometimes I've done this and sometimes I've done the exact opposite of this.  I've joined Satan in his evil by reacting with evil. 

Because sometimes as the adage says, revenge is best served cold, but sometimes it only leaves you cold. Isolated. Bitter. 

I see the power of Lysa's strategy in big falling outs and busted friendships, but I also see the wisdom of this strategy in the daily dirt of close relationships.

It's within close context with immediate family that the build up of hurt forms.

It's here we most need to list the blessings of those we bump shoulders with in our house.

List the blessings of a person who currently doesn't feel like a blessing.  Defeat the evil response I might want to have before it starts by realizing in these moments who my enemy is and who it isn't. Refusing to give into cynicism and resentment that Satan eagerly offers me by offering a list. A list of goodness about someone God made in His image. Deciding to not offer insult for insult, but blessing instead.  That I may receive the blessing of protection.  Perhaps sometimes it's the protection from my own evil.  That evil pierces us most deeply.


  1. My mother used to say, "do good and good will follow you...and the same is true if you do bad." It all comes back doesn't it? What you put into the world. Very good read.

  2. Somer, a convicting post. It is far too easy to repay evil with evil. But, in my flesh, I am way too capable of reacting with impatience, hurtful words, and "small" actions. I want to be the one who repays evil with blessings. The only way I can really do this is by spending time with Jesus, stopping to pray and asking Jesus to help me see those who hurt me through His eyes. Great post.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

31 Days of Free Writes #Wave

Four summers ago the first weekend in September marked one month.  One month lived out shaky and unsteady.  Just putting a few steps in front of the other and letting tears drip down faces or anger spill out at the sky.  "Why?"
I had watched my husband shake violently at the graveside of his twenty-six year old brother as he sat a few inches from the casket.
My usually stoic husband reached out for the casket as he passed by and I heard his voice crack as he called out his name.  One more time. I had never seen him stricken with grief.  That groan of emotion haunted me.   Those fifteen minutes spent under the funeral home's green awning the last minutes his family would ever be within arms length of this special brother.  A brother who had just slipped quietly out of this life beneath the green gold water of a river one steaming August day.  Bare chested and tan, jumping off the dock with friends.  Never to resurface again.
A lot of that week in August was just wakin…

Five Minute Fridays - "Last"

Last is such a final word, it’s a word that always makes us sit back and take note. We take note of the fact that something is about to draw to an end and we better enjoy the last drops, savor the last bites before its all gone. Like that last hot week of summer that we spend soaking up every last beam of Vitamin D. Or that last couple bites of a once a year Christmas dinner, slowly swallowed down. Or maybe the last night of a vacation where we try to take note of everything and know that we are returning to real world, real bills, real deadlines all seemingly too soon. Two weeks ago I experienced a last. For seven months I was given a gift. It was truly an unexpected gift. One I had never anticipated being given. For the past six years my sister Faith and I have lived in different cities for most of the time. We always mused over the idea that we should've lived together for at least one year of college. But from icy January 4th to steamy August 10th I had the gift…


Five Minute Fridays

Morning seems sacred to me.  Having nocturnal children kind of robs me of the mornings I like to enjoy in silence and quiet thought.
For years I would get up at least two hours before anyone so I could just be by myself and be quiet.
My parents are early morning people that like to eat full breakfasts and watch the sunrise on the porch. There's something exciting about watching the day open its' eye lids with the first glints of sun playing on the horizon edge.  Pale blues and periwinkles rouse us out of pitch black and many times morning rises in strength with extravagant colors.  It signals something new.  A new twenty four hours.  A new chance. Kind of like a new little slice of life.  We are mesmerized at first at the idea of new.  It's beautiful, holy, and hopeful.
Morning breaks the night.
I love that Cat Steven's hymn Morning has Broken.  I've always thought the words were so beautiful.
Especially the last phrase, "God&…