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Doing what is good

Continuing on the idea from the previous passages about how we should relate to one another within the church body of Christ, Peter uses the words of David from Psalm 34:12-16 in this section. Peter gives good practical advice that good speech can lead to good days, or rather, good interactions with others. Following classical themes within Jewish poetry, in verse 10, we see a type of parallelism for emphasis: “Let him keep his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit.” From verse 9, Peter mentioned that we should not pay evil for evil or insult for insult, which parallels here in verse 10. Our tongue is very powerful: it can build others up, as well as tear people down, a point made clear by James in James 3:9 saying, “With the tongue we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in God’s likeness.” We need to watch what we say to each other (James 1:19-20). In verse 11, we are challenged to “seek peace and pursue it.” If we want to be like-minded with one another, being harmonious, it has to be an active decision. We must be constantly striving to “do what is good.” Because of our sin nature, this does not happen naturally. It must be a conscious decision with the help of the Holy Spirit. And if we pursue what is right, following in the same mind of Christ, the “eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their prayer.” The Lord assures us that if we are pursuing His ways, He will listen. God regards the faithful with His favor and blessing, but He is opposed to those who “do what is evil,” and are in danger of discipline.


Isaac De Guzman


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