Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.
~ 1 Peter 3:8
One time I was shopping in a grocery store and was thinking about a myriad of things when I got in line to buy my items. As I walked up to the cashier, my husband came up to me and said, “Jenny, you did not wait at the back of the line.” I turned around to look with shame at angry eyes meeting mine. I apologized to the ones waiting patiently and was ready to go to the back of the line when someone said, “No, that’s okay, go ahead.” I felt terrible. I had been absentmindedly rude.
But then there have been times that I was discourteous and was fully aware of my actions. I may have said something cutting to someone in front of others or displayed a haughty air when I was embarrassed. I have had times when I didn’t care about having unity of mind as mentioned in 1 Peter 3:8. I wanted others to hear what I had to say, because after all, I was right! Yeah, that’s not humble-minded at all.
Our society is increasingly developing a discourteous mentality. We see and hear it in the children, youth, adults, and old people. We find it in the store, in traffic, in schools, in our homes, and especially in the political arena. Sometimes we are the brunt of crude, impolite, or downright obscene actions, but other times we are the perpetrators. Unfortunately, we have become a rude generation.
Being courteous takes time, thought, patience, and work. It’s not always something that comes naturally. We are reminded in this scripture that we are to have unity of mind. This means we don’t really need to have our way or our say. Sometimes it’s best to be still and keep peace. The scripture says that we should show sympathy. We need to remember that even though people may be at fault for the mess in which they are living, this doesn’t mean we need to point a finger in blame. We are to have sympathy towards them, lift them up in prayer, and help them to recover from their situation.
The scripture says that we are to display brotherly love. If we had a terrible relationship with our earthly brother, this may be hard to grasp. We need to remove all walls we have erected and just show love as Christ commanded us to do. And lastly, the scripture says we should have a humble mind. We should never think too highly of ourselves but be humble, remembering that Christ humbled Himself for us. His sacrifice, forgiveness, and redemption are ours, only because Christ bore our cross of shame in complete abandonment of Himself.
When we display these attributes mentioned in 1 Peter 3:8, we will meet the standard of being courteous. Could you use some work in this area of your life? I know I could.
Dear Father, Help me to be thoughtful towards others, and to show courtesy at all times. In Christ I pray, Amen.
~ Jenny Calvert