December 12 – Payback Blessings

Peter stressed the importance of unity within the community so that compassion and harmony could flow. Living this way will glorify God. Peter said at the close of his letter, “Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.” Like in other places in God’s Story, we find that when we bless others (even when they don’t “deserve it”) God will bless us. Look for opportunities to bless, and all the more so, when blessing may seem far from what might come naturally.

Let God’s supernatural love flow. From March of 2013 to March of 2014 I had a new job. While wearing a cute apron, I worked part-time at a friendly self-serve frozen yogurt shop in our neighborhood. I loved riding my bike to work on quiet streets lined with large trees. Greeting guests and offering them samples of our yummy flavors was fun for me. Everyone is happy in a frozen yogurt shop, right? Well, early in my training, a guest impatiently fussed about a number of things and when she left the store, my team leader, who has wisdom in many areas, encouraged me not to let it get to me, as this lady was known for her grumpy, insulting attitude. My new mission was to show extra genuine kindness, blessing this guest until she could not help but to enjoy her fro-yo with a smile. When we have been blessed by God’s love, how can we not desire to bless others, especially those who may not know Him yet? Over time as this lady came into the shop, she warmed up to what I like to believe is God’s love flowing through, and now she even smiles and says kind words. This is a blessing to me and to all those around her.

P.S. During my long ankle recovery I contemplated a variety of jobs that I might like to explore and added dog walking to my now-mobile days. I also went back to the yogurt shop. It is just one of many good venues for living out Peter’s teaching: be tenderhearted, keep a humble attitude, when rudeness comes respond with kindness. This is the way to living a blessed life.

1 Peter 3:8-9 NLT