to sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kind-hearted and humble in spirit 1 Peter 3:8 NASB
Harmonious – Over the next few days we will look at each of these words. Today we start with homophrones. This word combines homos (the same) and phrone (mind or understanding). Peter tells us that believers who are equally submissive to God and each other need to have the same frame of mind. It is particularly important to recognize that this summary comes at the conclusion of Peter’s discussion of the relationship between wives and husbands. In the previous verse, Peter sternly warns husbands about the consequences of not acknowledging the role wives play and the godly status they enjoy. This summary is particularly applied to husbands, but of course, it’s godly advice for all of us. We just make sure that when we expand the audience to all human beings we don’t forget that it finds its paradigm case in the actions of a married man.
Many times we find divisions in the body of believers. Theological issues divide us from each other. Do you think that this is what God intended? Have you felt the grieving of His spirit when you experience the separation of one believing community from another? I have. And I have decided to do something about it. I believe that God asks us to reach beyond our theological disagreements and see each other as He sees us – equally forgiven, equally redeemed, equally submissive to Him. When I share my experience of God with others, I find connecting points with everyone who loves God as I do. It doesn’t matter what church they go to or how they grew up. The change in my life greets the change in the other person’s life and we can thank God together. I have decided to practice homophrones in gratitude and submission. God can take care of the theology. My job is to take care of His children, my brothers and sisters.
My greatest grief is seeing Christians turn away from fellow believers who have fallen into times of trial and temptation. You see, I have been down some very shameful roads myself. I know what it is to fall hard to the bottom. I know the agony and torture of sin’s destructive force. God and I share some pretty difficult things together. So when I see someone who is experiencing failure, conviction and torment, I remember what it was like for me – and I remember that God never let me go. Apart from His grace, I would still be on the road of desperation and darkness.
Harmony is more than everyone believing the same thing in a nice, comfortable fellowship. Harmony is having the mindset of common characteristics. No one knew this better than Peter, a man of sorrow, acquainted with grief – and restored! Peter and I both know what it is like to turn our backs on Him. And we both know how hard it was to see His tears at our denial. We will never forget. That reminder means that today your tears are mine. Your cry is mine. We have the same mind. You can count on me because I am just like you.
Topical Index: 1 Peter 3:8, homophrones, harmonious, like-minded
By the time you read this TW, I will be on the way to El Salvador to assist Jason Law with a possible project there building homes for the really poor. I will also teach on the weekend – and even preach in a church. Anyway, if something happens to TW while I am gone, I’m sure Patrick will look out for you. I’ll be back in a few days.