Keep Your Lips from Speaking Deceit

1 Peter 3:8-9 ESV

“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.”

Unity of Mind

For Christians to have biblical unity of mind with one another they must be united in mind and heart with Jesus Christ. They must prefer what God prefers which is what is holy, righteous, honest, pure, moral, decent, faithful, and upright. And they must not be walking in sin, in immorality, lying, cheating, stealing, and committing adultery, etc.

If we are united in heart and mind with Jesus Christ then we can also be of one mind and heart with other Christians who are also united in heart and mind with Jesus Christ. But there is not going to be unity within the body of Christ as long as the body is divided between teaching (and following) cheap grace and teaching (and following) God’s true grace.

Also, we must watch out for false unity based on the teachings of humans and on marketing schemes, and not based on the teachings of Christ and his apostles. For “unity” is something which is being pushed in the institutional church and in the governments of nations and across national boundaries. All this, of course, is leading up to the rule of the beast (Rev 13).

Sympathy and Brotherly (and sisterly) Love

We are to be compassionate people, not hard hearted, not selfish, not stingy. We are to demonstrate genuine care and concern for the welfare of others, and to feel with others in what they are going through. But we are to never sympathize with deliberate acts of willful defiance against the Lord in habitually refusing to obey the Lord, then in doing what is wrong, instead.

I am not saying we should not feel compassion toward the sinner who needs the Savior. We should. But our compassion should lead us to share with him (or her) the truth of the gospel so that he can know God’s saving grace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. But we should never commiserate with someone who is living in defiance to God while professing Jesus Christ as his Savior, and while professing that heaven is his home.

Brotherly love is the love between fellow Christians, those who are saved by the grace of God via God-given faith in Jesus Christ, who submit to Christ as Lord, who have died with Christ to sin, and who are living to Christ and to his righteousness. This love comes from God and therefore it will be pure, honest, upright, and moral, and it will consider what is best for the other.

Evil for Evil

When people sin against us, we are not to try to get even with them. We do not “trade tit for tat.” We don’t retaliate. And we don’t make mean and hateful remarks intended to stab them in the heart so that they will feel the pain they inflicted on us. That is not loving, and it is not kind, but it is selfish.

On the other hand, if a Christian brother or sister sins against us, we are to bring this before him (or her), though I would strongly recommend that women not confront men alone, and that men should not confront women alone, for the safety of everyone concerned, and for propriety’s sake, unless it is a wife or a husband confronting the other.

Also, confronting someone with his sins against us (make sure he really did sin against you) is painful for everyone concerned. Speaking the truth in love is not comfortable, and it may not be well received, and you may be accused of being mean and hateful when you are not. Confronting, done in love, is not mean. It is kind, for it cares about the other person.

But when we have to speak the truth in love, and when we have to name the specific sins, especially if we are dealing with someone caught in habitual (addictive) sin, with the whole cycle that goes along with that. And if he is in denial, he may not respond well to the confrontation. And again, you may be accused of being mean and hateful when you are trying to rescue someone from the pit of hell and to show him the way to freedom.

Those who are habitual in their sin, and in their sin cycles, which include things like lying, blaming, not taking responsibility for the sin, minimizing the sin, and attacks on the character of the one trying to help them out of the sin, etc., will most likely retaliate in some way, and will accuse their confronter with getting even with them. But if you are the confronter, and you are trying to rescue this person, don’t take that accusation on yourself.

And rather than getting even with the person who is attacking you, do for the other person what is for his or her good. Say what will benefit him or her spiritually. Do good to him. Be kind. Ask the Lord to help you to show love to him (or her) in ways that are meaningful. And pray for him (or her).

1 Peter 3:10-12 ESV

“For ‘Whoever desires to love life
and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking deceit;
let him turn away from evil and do good;
let him seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.’”

There are so many liars and deceivers out there. Many use the lies as a way of covering up their sins, either in advance and/or after the fact. And many use the lies as a way to control and manipulate others, to deceive them into believing something is true in order to manipulate them into a particular course of action. Much of this is going on in the world today.

This is happening in institutional churches. Many pastors have been and/or are being trained in manipulation and marketing schemes, and in what to do in order to get certain desired responses from the people. I have seen this in action, more than once, and I have been to the training, for my husband and I were once church planters. So, I know this is what is happening.

It is happening in our nations, too. We are being lied to by government heads, by the media, and by people in the world who are in high up positions of influence and control over the affairs of the world. We cannot, as Christians, give our blind trust to anyone but God. We have to think Revelation 13 in today’s world and not be taken in by the deceptions.

So, not only must we be truth tellers, but we must be so careful that we don’t embrace the lies of others, and that we don’t spread the lies of others, too, as fact, when they are fiction. Before we believe anyone we need to step back and pray and ask the Lord for his counsel. For many professing Christians are following the lies. So, we need to be people of spiritual discernment.

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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