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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Sunday, September 13

Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing.
—1 Peter 3:9

There’s an old saying that what goes around, comes around. We often think that the instructions given by religious teachers—and even, God—are meant to make us mere puppets of someone more powerful than ourselves.

We may find ourselves fighting the instructions because we don’t want to be under someone else’s control or because we simply don’t want to follow someone else’s rules. We are like an adolescent child testing every boundary for permeability.

In truth, the instructions are not meant to steal life, or power, or control from us.  They are meant to give it to us.  They are meant to reveal the deepest part of our being to us so that we can live our humanity from that authentic place. They are meant to help us live with joy seeping through the seams of our soul into the world around us. 

When someone hurts or abuses us, it seems foolhardy to repay them with a blessing.  It seems a crazy rule cooked up in the chaos of a madman’s mind. It goes against everything our emotions tell us when we are in such a situation. When we repay with a blessing, however, what comes around to us immediately is the inheritance of blessing. The joy that wants to seep through the seams of our life is still able to do so.

We were made for blessing—giving blessing, receiving blessing.  Not just when people are good and kind, but also when people are evil and hurtful.  Blessing changes them, and it surely changes us.  Lest we fear that we are condoning their behavior or giving them permission to continue their behavior, it’s important to remember that our blessing affects us.  It is what keeps our soul in a state of peace.

Gracious God, when I am hurt and my emotions rage, let me offer a blessing and restore my soul to peace.