(Vs. 8) "Finally." Having finished the subject respecting citizens and magistrates, servants and masters, husbands and wives, Peter sums up the whole matter with the following words:
"Be ye all of the same mind" whatever difference in sex, station, position, or age. Be of the same mind toward God; seek His will, His glory, His acceptance. Be of the same mind toward one another; we are all children of His family. Be of the same mind toward the good and growth of His church. "He that is not for Me is against Me."
"Have compassion one of another." Sympathize, not criticize! Weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice.
"Love as brethren." That is, (1) love ALL of the believers, (2) love as Christ loved us, (3) love without hypocrisy in deed, not in word only, and (4) love continually, for true love never dies. How will this love be expressed? (1) In praying for one another, (2) in forgiving one another, (3) in sharing with one another both temporal and spiritual needs, and (4) in seeking out one another for fellowship and encouragement.
"Be pitiful." The word here is compassionate and tender (Eph. 4:32).
"Be courteous." Be friendly, seeking those things which are most agreeable and beneficial to others. Avoid moody pouting, stiffness, and pride.
(Vs. 9) "Not rendering evil for evil." That is, if you feel that someone has slighted you, ignored you, or wronged you, do not GET EVEN by returning the same treatment or attitude; rather, forgive them and love them. It could be a total misunderstanding on your part; but even if not, we are to forgive others as God forgives us.
"Or railing for railing." That is, do not return harsh language and tongue lashing to such as have given it to you. It is a terrible temptation to answer back in the way we have been addressed; but it is not the way of our Lord, Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again.
"Knowing that you are thereunto called." You are called. You are called to love, not hate; to bless, not curse; to forgive, not revenge; to mercy, not Judgment; to demonstrate the Spirit of Christ, not the spirit of evil. You are called to inherit a blessing and to be a blessing.
(Vs. 10-12) This is taken from Psalm 34:12-16. It is referring to the man who desires to live a true spiritual life, who desires communion with God, who wants the blessings of Christ on him, and who wishes to be like Christ.
(1) Let him refrain his tongue from lies, slander, gossip, harsh words, criticism, and boasting.
(2) Let him turn away from evil and seek righteousness, avoid the company and conversation of evil men and seek the company of believers, avoid the appearance of evil and do good.
(3) Let him not only desire peace with God, himself, and his fellow-men, but let him PURSUE IT with strong resolution! Too many sit back and talk of their willingness to love, forgive, and show kindness if someone would like to have it. Don't be just a friend of peace and good willBE A PROMOTER!
(4) The eyes of the Lord are upon us. He knows our thoughts, our motives, and our attitudes; and His ears are open to hear those who seek peace and righteousness. We may deceive others and even ourselves, but not our Lord. It is not nearly so much action as it is attitude and spirit which bring the Lord's wrath; for His face is against those who have a bitter spirit, a self-righteous spirit, a proud spirit, and an unforgiving spirit. Let us remember I Sam. 16:7. This is perhaps the greatest error of today's religionist and is the place of greatest danger for the true believerforgetting that God sees, knows, and measures THE HEARTS OF MEN!
(Vs. 13) What harm can possibly come to you for walking with God, fulfilling the will and commandments of God, and seeking to imitate the spirit and mind of Christ? (Rom. 8:31-35; Psalm 1.)
(Vs. 14) But in case you should suffer for the truth you believe, and for the humble Spirit of Christ you demonstrate, and for returning good for evil, consider yourself to be blessed and even to be envied (Matt. 5:10-12). Do not be afraid of the opponents of truth or troubled by their hatred. The presence and blessings of the Lord are upon His own! His special blessings are upon them when they suffer for righteousness!