He That Will Love Life,
And See Good Days
By W.A. Holley
[Bible Light, Vol. 18, No. 4, July-August
1999, pp. 3, 7]
The foregoing quotation is addressed to those who are Christians;
they had already heard, believed and had been baptized into Christ for
the remission of sins (Acts 2:36-38, 47; 1 Peter 3:20-21). In the
verses here quoted, we have Peter discussing the duties of Christians one
to another. Note these traits of Christian character: Likeminded,
compassionate or sympathetic, humbleminded or humility (not stuck-up),
no doing evil for evil; it is better to suffer wrong than do wrong.
Let’s remember that “the eyes of the Lord” are looking down upon us each
day. We shall make the following suggestions:
“Finally, be ye all likeminded, compassionate, loving
as brethren, tenderhearted, humbleminded: not rendering evil for evil,
or reviling for reviling; but contrariwise blessing; for hereunto were
ye called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For, he that would
live life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and
his lips that they speak no guile: and let him turn away from evil, and
do good; let him seek peace, and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord
are upon the righteous, and his ears unto their supplication: but the face
of the Lord is upon them that do evil” (1 Peter 3:8-12, ASV).
A. Don’t be too concerned about “just desserts.”
Leave such matters in the Lord’s hands. “Dearly beloved, avenge not
yourselves, but rather give place to wrath: for it is written, Vengeance
is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19).
B. Learn to pay little attention to destructive
and personal attacks against you (Titus 2:7-8). Set such a personal
Christian example of real Christianity that those who may hear of unjust
criticism against you will not be easily persuaded (1 Peter 2:11-12).
C. Where other people are concerned, manifest a
compassionate and understanding affection toward them as is possible (Matthew
5:43-44; Luke 6:27-35). This is Jesus’ way to win friends and influence
people. Visit and humor uttered at the expense of others can never
be worth the effort.
D. Permit your virtues and accomplishments to speak
for themselves, and adamantly refuse to discuss the shortcomings of others
(Proverbs 25:16, 27; Ecclesiastes 7:16-18). Thus, living a life of
moderation is far better than going to the extremes. What we have
in mind here is longsuffering. What is longsuffering? It is
that quality of self-restraint in the face of provocation which does not
hastily retaliate or promptly punish. Matthew Arnold called “moderation”
E. If you would “love life, and see good days,”
learn to keep an open mind on all debatable subjects (1 Peter 3:15-16).
Discuss, but do not fuss. To become angry while discussing the Bible
is to turn the other person off. “Reprove, rebuke and exhort,” but
do it in the spirit of Christ (2 Timothy 4:1-8). It is the mark of
a true Christian to be able to disagree with your opponent, yet remain
F. Be cheerful and bright in your outlook on life.
“Smile” is the longest word in the English language. Cover the “S”
and you will see. Doom and gloom never help. Be a ray of sunshine
rather than a gathering storm. Hide your worries and disappointments
under your “smile-umbrella.”
G. Manifest an interest in each person whom you
meet. Talk with them about their homes, their pursuits and their
religion. These subjects can open doors. If you cannot talk
with sinners, you can never convert them. Paul wrote, “Condescend
to men of low estate” (Romans 12:16). What does this mean?
Conybeare and Howson has “suffer yourselves to be borne along with the lowly.”
James MacKnight has “associate with lowly men.” The Cambridge Greek
Testament says, “put yourselves on a level with, accommodate yourselves
to.” An egotist can hardly convert anyone to Christ! Jesus
Christ, the Son of God, talked with all kinds of people, from the lowest
to the highest.
H. Make promises sparingly and keep them faithfully,
no matter what the cost. Vows once made were considered compulsory;
but, if the vow is a rash one, it should be corrected through repentance
(Numbers 30:2; Deuteronomy 23:21; Ecclesiastes 5:4). Two examples
of rash vows are Jephthah’s vow concerning his daughter and Herod Antipas
and his vow concerning John the Baptist (Judges 11:1ff; Matthew 4:1ff).
This writer knew well two sisters, whose father had been an elder in the
Lord’s church, but who had apostatized from the truth. On his deathbed,
he made his daughters vow never to become members of the church.
This writer approached them many times urging them to change their minds,
but they refused, saying, “We promised our father and we will keep our
promise.” How tragic!
I. Use your opportunities to speak a kind and an
encouraging word to those whom you meet along the way (Galatians 6:10).
This word refers to “a fixed and definite period, a time, a season.”
Many opportunities are lost never to return. Life is so short.
Why not send a card, make a telephone call, write that friend, that son
or daughter, or grandchildren. Here is one means of doing evangelical
work. How long has it been since you have tried to win a lost soul
to Christ? The Mormons try, the Jehovah Witnesses try, but most of
us do very little. There is a soul to be saved or lost; a heaven
to be gained or a hell to be endured. Which shall it be? Do
we really fear God? (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
J. Initiate a desperate effort to control your tongue.
It is unruly and needs to be bridled (James 3:1-18). The most difficult
mistakes to avoid are those that involve the tongue. James refers
to putting bits in the horse’s mouth. The lesson is: Control
the mouth and you are in control! A small helm can control a great
The tongue is very destructive. It is a “world of
iniquity” and “it defileth the whole body.” A small spark can destroy
a house or a forest. The tongue is inconsistent; it is used to bless
God and to curse men. The phrase, “the tongue can no man tame” is
here used metaphorically, but with the help of God almighty, we can do
a far better job than most of us are doing. When James refers to
the fountain, the fig tree and vine, he is showing the necessity of the
proper use of them. The tongue is a great blessing when properly
used; for with it we preach the unsearchable Gospel of Christ and encourage
others to climb higher and higher.
“For he that would love life and see good days, let him
refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile” (1