Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "In The Cross Of Christ I Glory"1 (Lyrics)
1 Peter 3:10 – Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. (NIV)
At the supermarket, I wheeled my three articles, precariously balanced on the front bar of my two-front-wheel, two-back-skids walker, into the last check-out aisle signed "Limit 12 Articles".
The lady in front of me had just put a few articles from her cart — showing more than twelve — onto the first edge of the moving counter-top. Quickly stepping aside, she motioned me into the space that she had made for me in front of herself.
The check-out clerk broke from her rhythm of keying-in the articles of her current customer (ahead of the two of us) and smilingly plopped another spacing-bar onto the counter, thus adding her go-ahead to my hesitation.
The check-out clerk acted out her practical graciousness, and the over-the-limit lady showed penitence by holding back her articles — both with kindness. I smiled my appreciation.
I could have pointed at the overloaded cart; the clerk could have pointed at the sign; the over-the-limit lady might have kept her feet firmly grounded. All three of us might have stiffened our backs or growled. Judgment, with wounded feelings, might have reigned.
Yet surely, Proverbs 15:1a fits: "A soft answer turns away wrath" (ESV). Yes, even when words are unspoken.
I think that we all learned something: By acting (though imperfectly) in Jesus' way of love, we had evaded the "harsh word (that) stirs up anger" (Proverbs 15:1b).
Jesus, to the extremity, taught us His way of love. We read of Jesus while He hung on the cross:
1 Peter 2:23-25 – When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (NIV)
Prayer: Thank You, our Saviour, for revealing Your way of supreme love, first by refusing to retaliate, then by giving Yourself, the just for the unjust, for us. Thank You for bringing us to Yourself, the Overseer and Shepherd of our souls. We praise You for rising and for assuring us that we will rise to be with You for all eternity. Guide us continually in sharing Your way of love, and strengthen our faith to entrust ourselves wholly to You. Amen.