Week six on this blog tour covers 1 Peter 3:8-12. The title of this week's chapter is called "Pursue Peace with Doves and Dragons." I love the image that brings to my mind!
The subtitle of this entire study is "Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times." I think many times we think we are the only ones going through hard times. We look back fondly on the "good ole days" and reminisce about how much better things were "back then." However, every person - no matter when they lived - went through hard times. And most found that the only way to get through those hard times was to rely on each other and, most importantly, a relationship with the Lord.
1 Peter 3:8 states "Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble." (NIV84)
Simply because someone is a Christian does not mean that everything goes well for them. Everyone experiences hard time and conflicts. However, the Bible shares how one should address conflict in relationship. It gives a step-by-step process you should follow in Matthew 18: 15-17.
Obtaining harmony in a relationship can be hard. Even our relationship with the Lord needs harmony. I know that I allow distractions in to my life that get in the way of my relationships not only with God but also with family and friends. Making a relationship takes work. Any relationship.
One relationship that oftentimes gets overlooked is the relationship of the church and the believers. Finding a church home can take some time and conflict can easily arise once you are there. It's like any other family. This week we looked at the four qualities of the ideal church which are harmony, sympathy, love, and humility. Easy right?
I'm sure most will agree that those four qualities are hard to obtain. After all, we all have a sinful nature and it's easy to get caught up in the moment and forget what our ultimate goal should be - being Christ to others. I've yet to attend an "ideal" church, but I have attended some rather great churches that constantly strive towards that goal. I hope you have one you can attend as well.
Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of the book through the Kregel Publications Blog Tour program. I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions stated above are mine alone.