10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. 11 They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” — 1 Peter 3:10-12 NIV
Somehow, somewhere, it seems that we have gotten the idea that it is not necessary for us to be careful of the words we speak and the tone of voice we use when we speak those words. Nothing could be further from the truth. When I become frustrated and/or angry, I hear myself speaking unkind words in a tone that I should not be using. I am always convicted of the words and the attitude that caused me to speak those careless words. Not always immediately, but the Holy Spirit does not leave me alone until I agree with Him and confess my sin. I am so grateful that God loves me enough to discipline me, no matter how long it takes. The passage of scripture quoted here in 1 Peter (oringinally from Psalm 34:12-16) reminds me that as a Christian, I should not be guilty of speaking words in that tone of voice. If I truly “love life” and want to “see good days”, I must “keep my tongue from evil and my lips from deceitful speech”. I must “seek peace and pursue it”, then God’s eyes will be on me and He will hear my prayers. If I continue to rebel against God with unkind words and a bad attitude, I have no basis to expect Him to do anything for me. God seems to be teaching me a lesson that “bad things happen to good people” sometimes because He disciplines His children. The obverse of this is that He doesn’t discipline those that are not His children, but they will receive the full brunt of His wrath in the fullness of time. Our part, then, is to remain obedient and faithful and He will do His part. As the Psalmist puts it:
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. 9 For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land. 10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. 11 But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity. — Psalm 37:8-11 NIV
This lesson was meant for me specifically. After some prayer and meditation, I felt that I should follow the advice given to us in James and ask for your prayers so that I can do better in the future.
16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. — James 5:16 NIV