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. [1 peter 3:8-9]


do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless,


“on the contrary”

love that the Spirit points out the obvious – but, i think he does so because we often fail to realize why it is so obvious.


the world repays evil for evil. harmful actions are returned for harmful actions.

the lost repay reviling for reviling. hurtful words are returned for hurtful words.

we, in our flesh – often do the same.

so …

when we do the opposite, when we bless – pour out Jesus and his grace in the midst of evil and reviling being poured out on us, when we truly, from the heart – pour out Jesus – it is contrary!


it is contrary to what the world, the lost, and our flesh do!

we get a chance to reveal the beauty of the gospel in the midst of evil and pain when we pour out grace.


this is what Jesus did.

two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. and when they came to the place that is called the skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. and Jesus said, “father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” [luke 23:32-34]

one of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “are you not the Christ? save yourself and us!” but the other rebuked him, saying, “do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? and we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” and he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” and he said to him, “truly, i say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” [luke 23:39-42]

look at the impact his actions and words had in the midst of evil and reviling being hurled on him.

then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” and having said this he breathed his last. now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “certainly this man was innocent!” [luke 23:46-47]

in mark 15:39 – he further adds – the centurion saw he was God.

“truly this man was the Son of God!” 


truth: what is in you, ruling in you, defining who you are, giving identity to who you are – will come pouring out when you are squeezed by evil and reviling. what came out of Jesus was not a set of morals or a code of conduct – “treat others how you want to be treated.” great idea but hard to do when you are being unjustly treated and nailed to a cross. no, what came out of Jesus was WHO he was. he was mercy, truth, love, grace, more …! and it came pouring out as he was pierced, beat, reviled, and attacked by evil.

what comes pouring out of you in these moments?

today ask the Lord for more of his Spirit, more of his life to define and rule in you – and more of him will come pouring out when you are pierced by evil and reviling.


today Lord –

would you rule in us – we submit to you King Jesus. would you define us – you are our identity father. would you abide in us more fully today – we sit in your presence! may the fruit of this be your mercy, truth, love, and grace pour out of us as we are pierced by evil and reviling.

in Jesus name – amen!



~ john ryan