Be Sympathetic

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.  1 Peter 3:8

Recently in my Quiet Time, I was looking for inspiration. Having read a devotion about choices, and where they lead us, I decided I would head over to Bible Gateway and memorise and study the verse of today. 1 Peter 3:8 came up.

So I started to unpick it….

Finally, all of you, 

There are no exceptions here. All of you. 1 Peter 3 starts off with a list of Godly living, within a marriage context, but now he is bringing everyone together. All of you. Man. Woman. Child. We should all obey these instructions.

be like-minded, 

We should be like minded. That’s easy isn’t it? Having similar tastes or opinions. Oh dear, that could be opening a can of worms…I know many Christians who are like minded….

It should be easy. To be like minded in our Love for God. To be like minded in our love for fellow man, as Jesus called us to do:

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” 

Matthew 22:36-40 New International Version (NIV)

But I am well aware that the Christian community is very divided over many things, and that being like minded is a topic, I feel far too unqualified to cover. So I’m going to move on.

be sympathetic, 

This was the part that challenged me, to write this post. Be sympathetic.

We all know the standard definition, but I wondered whether there was more to it. So I Googled it.

So definition 1 and 2 are what I expected. But what struck home were the synonyms for Definitions 1 and 3.

Comforting, supportive, encouraging. I would love to have people describe me as someone who is comforting, supportive and encouraging. But I’m not 100% sure they would. So the first step, I suppose, would be to develop a listening ear. I must confess that I don’t believe I listen very well, as I seem to be unable to commit things to memory and then recall them at a later date- eg: ” How did the exam go last week?” So I’m challenged to develop my listening skills, so I can become more supportive and encouraging for my family and friends.

The synonyms of Definition 3, link back to being more like-minded. Hmmm….

love one another, 

I think this one is pretty self explanatory, especially when we read how we are supposed to ‘Love one another’ in Matthew 22:39. Looking after others, caring for them. Being considerate. Be compassionate.

be compassionate 

To be caring. Sensitive to the needs of others. To be kind.

and humble. 

To not brag about ones own accomplishments. Being truly humble is difficult, as we are all inherently selfish. But what a quality to possess.

To be able to live a life reflecting this verse would be amazing. We have been blessed with some examples to read about, look up to. Jesus, of course, was the epitome of these personality traits. He was a leader, yet never bossy, selfish or arrogant. He was kind, caring, compassionate. The Parable of the Good Samaritan is another example, as is the life of Mother Theresa.

So the choice that I am going to make this week, is to focus on listening- listening to what has been said, how it has been said, ensure I’ve understood it completely and then (and here’s the biggy) remembered what has been said!

What have you been challenged to do?

About Cheryl

I am a child of God, a wife and a mother of 4 children. Some days are good. Some days are frustrating. Some days are just plain insane. In between the mayhem, I loved to go for walks with our mutt, potter in the garden and enjoy the beauty that surrounded us. That all changed in August 2012 when we waved goodbye to our mutt and garden, our eldest at Uni in Gloucester and moved to Tokyo for 4 months. And yes- we are still here...
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