While my coworkers are away this week, I had the pleasure of sitting in on our bible study on Tuesday night. Our community gathers on Tuesday evenings after a $1 meal at St. Francis Table and studies the Word. Lately, each week a new person offers to lead the group in discussion. This week we were studying 1 Peter 3:8-17, and there was a lot of great interpretation, debate, and conversation. The first verse we read from this portion was verse eight, which reads, “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.”
Near the end of the bible study, as we prayed over the session, our friend who had offered to pray said, “and oh, God… let us be compassionate this week, because no one likes a jerk.” It was a simple and honest prayer. We all nodded amen.
As I have walked through the rest of this week, I have reflected on this specific verse. It’s true that no one likes a jerk. But before we point fingers at other jerks, (you know, the ones on the road who “can’t drive”, those people that cut in front of you in line) we also have to look at ourselves. Peter 3:10 continues, “For, whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. 11 They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.”
I have not been great at that this week, and it has turned me into a real jerk. With a variety of things going on in my life at the moment, some of which are stressful, angering, sad, and draining, I have let my tongue become evil. I have argued relentlessly with people I love and I’ve struggled with self-worth.
Peter talked about compassion, and having it for others. I also hope he meant we can have it for ourselves. On the days that I feel down and out, when anger is exploding from my mouth and when I feel like crawling under a rock, let me seek peace and pursue it. Let my tongue be kept from evil and let me turn toward the good. That is my prayer for this week, that I would have compassion for my friends and also for myself… because really, no one likes a jerk.
Peace to you this week, friends.
It would mean so much to me if you were able to partner financially with The Dale to support my role within this ministry. There are a number of ways to do this, including CanadaHelps, PAR, or cheque. Please reach out to me if you would like more information on partnering with me in this way. Thanks for your support!