to sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kind-hearted and humble in spirit. 1 Peter 3:8 NASB
Humble – In Greek this word is philophrones. Now you get to do a little Greek investigation yourself. You already know both parts of this word. Can you put the two parts together here and create a new word? [But in case you don't have time to go look, the two parts are “brotherly love” and “frame of mind”]. Now you see that “humble” is not quite the right sense for this word. It literally means “a mind of love toward brothers.”
Peter is a very practical priest. He is telling us that the secret to mutual support, shared suffering, brotherly love and making people feel good inside is having a loving frame of mind toward those in the community. That frame of mind will spill over into being friendly, courteous and kind to all.
This word was used to describe the entertainment of strangers. We can think of the ancient customs associated with entertaining visitors by looking at the Bible stories of Abraham. The good host always humbled himself by making his visitors feel like honored guests. After all, you never knew who the guest might turn out to be, as Abraham discovered. The renowned hospitality of the ancient Middle East stems from this obligatory kindness toward any guest. We see that same assumed pattern of behavior in the lives and words of the New Testament authors.
Peter tells us more than just “have a courteous mindset.” He applies this word to our spiritual state of being. He reminds us that true friendliness and courtesy are spiritual and physical matters. They come from the deepest part of our being. We can always follow the social rules of legislated etiquette, but true friendliness comes from the heart, not the rule book. Our expression of courtesy and friendliness comes from our genuine care for others, a care that is based on how God treats us.
“Father, let me be the conduit of Your care for others today by showing them honor, courtesy and friendliness. Guide me toward those people who need to feel Your love through me and make sure I don’t miss the opportunity. I am so vulnerable to being wrapped up in myself. Push me to see others as honored guests in my life. Let me entertain angels unaware. And may my actions glorify You.”
Topical Index: kind-hearted, philophrones, brotherly love, hospitality, 1 Peter 3:8