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. For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.” 1 Peter 3:9-11
We were called to bless.
I have written about this verse before, but it continues to reverberate in my heart. There is more I need to learn here.
I have always thought of a calling as something wonderful and important, like being a missionary or a pastor or teacher – certainly there is a calling to be a mother or father. But as I was reading this verse the other day, that phrase struck me again: to this you were called. To bless! To this I was called: bid, called forth, called by name, invited.1 To be honest, how often is blessing others at the front of my mind as I am going through my busy day – especially blessing those who are doing me evil or reviling me? But this verse says that is the very reason that God called my name, called me to follow Jesus. I wondered – to what else are we called? This is what I found:
We are called to belong to Jesus Christ.
And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. Romans 1:6
We are called to have fellowship with Jesus Christ our Lord.
God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9
We are called to endure suffering for doing good, without retaliation, trusting our lives to God.
For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 1 Peter 2:19-23
These last two callings together remind me of this verse: “… that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death …” (Philippians 3:10)
We are called to one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism.
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:4-6
We are called to be free.
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 5:13
You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:32)
For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2
We are called to be completely humble and gentle, patient, bearing with each other in love.
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3
You were called to peace.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15
There is not a lot of peace these days. Yet, we are called to let Christ’s peace “rule in your hearts,” to seek peace and pursue it” (1 Peter) and to “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4: 3).
We are called to be holy.
For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 1 Thessalonians 4:7
… to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:2-3
We are called to His eternal glory.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10
Lord, help me to remember that I am yours, and I have a calling to bless, to love, to walk with you, to endure suffering, to seek peace, to live a holy life. That is the reason you called me. And, as I go through my days, give me the grace and strength – the everything – that I need to do your will and bring glory to you who called me by name.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ … Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-8, 10-11
Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus … Hebrews 3:1
1Definition from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.
Photo, Helping Hand, by Howard J https://flic.kr/p/2iKzd6h