2. A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”We have all heard this idiom, but is it true? It is not true in the sense used in this proverb. Your words can make a mess out of your life – they can be the catalyst that causes the stones to fly – or they can be the means for good.
Look at this absolutely wonderful statement from Peter.
“For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.” (1 Peter 3:10-11)Look at the incentive that Peter sets before us, “love life and see good days.” Doesn’t everyone want that? Here’s how you get it.
“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:8-9)Now this fruit of our mouth is not just returning good for good, but also good for evil. Our response must always be good, no matter what we are receiving. Now our proverb indicates that those who transgress with their mouth got the opposite results. Why is this true? It is true because we live in a moral universe.
“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?” (1 Peter 3:12-13)This is the essence of faith – trusting God and believing his promises. “But wait,” you say, “I see lots of bad things happening to good people and the wicked doing very well for themselves. Where is God and his promises?” Peter addresses this objection and acknowledges that it can happen, but its not the rule.
“But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.” (1 Peter 3:14-16)Peter even concludes his recognition of our occasional suffering with words of hope, “that they may be ashamed.” Our faithfulness is the means that the Holy Spirit uses to turn their hearts. And this is what it is all about. We also became ashamed when we realized that our evil caused another to suffer. It’s not too much to ask us to endure.
“For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:” (1 Peter 3:17-18)And this is what a Family Legacy is all about – fulfillling our calling and inheriting a blessing.
“Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:9)