I love seeing the ways that God works in the lives of His people. We don’t always recognize His working in our own lives. We’re too close to the situation. We can’t step back and observe from afar. But the lives of others can be a different story.
As I read 1 Peter this morning, one verse struck me in particular. “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” (1 Peter 3:8) That’s a profound statement that would take an entire sermon or two to fully unpack.
- Unity of mind is a noble goal with far-reaching ramifications, isn’t it?
- Sympathy. The NIV puts it more in the form of a verb: “be sympathetic.”
- Brotherly love. Committed, solid, strong, caring love.
- A tender heart. Couldn’t most of use more of this one?
- A humble mind. That’s a characteristic that could greatly unify the Body of Christ.
These are all great and challenging goals.
But what struck me as I read was to recognize who the author is of these poignant words: Peter. Do you remember Peter from the gospel accounts? Impetuous Peter. Peter, who often suffered from what a friend of mine calls “foot-in-mouth disease.” Peter, who would happily run roughshod over anything – or anyone – in his way.
And here he is, years later, clearly and obviously transformed by the Lord. He talks about having unity of mind, being sympathetic, having brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Peter seemingly had none of those traits originally. And he now touts them as essential.
Peter was clearly radically transformed by God.
Don’t give up on the transforming power of the Lord in your own life. He’s there, working by His grace, in ways you don’t always realize.