If we want to “love life and see good,” we must build and protect our relationships.
We are tempted to exaggerate, deceive, or abuse with words; therefore, we must “learn to be content whatever the circumstances” (Phil 4:11). We don’t have to deceive others.
The key to this lifestyle is found in keeping the “tongue from evil and [the] lips from uttering deceit.” As James tells us, “The tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell” (James 3:6).
The last phrase of the preceding verse implies that demons can influence our speech, especially when we are in a fit of anger (Eph 4:27).
In 1 Peter 3:10, “evil” refers to any type of “vicious, hurtful or harmful” speech that can cause a vengeful reaction from another person. Peter earlier provided us with the solution: “Be of one mind, having compassion for one another” and “love as brothers” (1 Pet 2:8).
This whole section was introduced by the command to put “aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and all evil speaking” (2:1).
We are to love one another by “not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, on the contrary blessing” (2:9). Be careful of your reactions, especially with the tongue.
In addition, obedient believers are to “keep . . . [their] lips from uttering deceit,” which means to deliberately trick or mislead someone by lying or intentionally giving the wrong impression for personal advantage: “Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool” (Prov 10:18). No one will trust a deceiver. Once broken, a relationship is very difficult to rebuild.
The tongue should build up, not tear down:“There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health” (Prov 12:18).
Let us commit to being honest, transparent, and protective of each other. When we inadvertently hurt someone, let us have the courage to admit it and ask forgiveness. Nothing is as valuable as the bond of believers. If you love life, protect your relationships.
“Lord Jesus, I commit myself to be honest and transparent before You and to carefully protect others by speaking to them with kindness. I need Your wisdom and understanding to benefit others with my words and physical expressions.”