Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
1 Peter 3:9 (NIV)
What a big challenge this verse presents, and difficult to consider from our human understanding. In our African perspective, repaying evil with a blessing is very difficult and it can be seen as a sign of weakness. In most cases we want to repay evil with evil. This is the normal way of doing things in our human thinking. But it is very different from the Christian perspective.
In this letter the apostle Peter is encouraging the believers to live in harmony with one another. Repaying evil with blessing is to practice kindness to one another. It is not to become hostile and resentful when we suffer or are mistreated by others.
Peter reminds you that you should not retaliate but be a blessing because you have been promised blessings that you did not deserve (3:9). In Matthew 5:39, Jesus goes so far to tell you that you should respond to your offenders with love. Only then will you be the light of the world that Jesus has called you to be. Revenge is unacceptable in the Kingdom of God.
Jesus has seized you to be a repayer of evil with blessing!
This is the fifth in the “Seized to Be The Light of the World” series of blog posts and is a special submission from Pastor Alick Kalonga, Executive Director of our Zambian partner, CEMFIN.