ah ah ah… achooooo!

1 Peter 3:8-9  Now finally, all of you should be like-minded and sympathetic, should love believers, and be compassionate and humble, not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you were called for this, so that you can inherit a blessing. 

Some people hold it in, others let it fly.  For some, the build up is more intense than a major league baseball player’s approach to the batter’s box.  Sneezing is just a part of life.  And when someone sneezes, we offer the courtesy of an obligatory “bless you.”  (Or gesundheit, which means “health” in German)  So we have lots of sneezes and lots of bless you sentiments floating around.   But this isn’t exactly what Peter was talking about when he told us to give a blessing.

We are called to bless others for more than just sneezing.  What does that look like?  Well, Peter spells it out for us.  We are to be like-minded and sympathetic, full of love and compassionate.  We ought not be arrogant and haughty but humble and kind.  When people insult us, ridicule us, and do bad stuff to us we need not retaliate.  That just brings us down to that level.  That’s not the kind of people we are.  We are a people of blessing!

When people spend time with us, they should feel blessed (not because we are generally awesome, although that might be true).  They should feel blessed because we loved them and served them.  They should feel blessed because we had compassion on them when no one else did.   They should feel blessed because we went out of our way to be kind even when they were not.  That’s blessing others.  Do more than respond to a sneeze today.  Don’t just say a blessing, but live to be one.  

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