Digital Photo © Luvdalot Graphics & Design

How To Love Life And See Good Days

For he that will love life, and see good days, let him
refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak
no guile: Let him turn away from evil, and do good; let
him seek peace, and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord
are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their
prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
(1 Peter 3:10-12)

Peter quotes this directly from Psalms 34:12-16. To "love life" requires an acknowledgment that life is a gift from our Creator. Life was God's gift; and He intended for us to enjoy it. However, when the first man and woman strayed away from God, the consequences were catastrophic. Death came into the world because of sin; It is not a natural thing, and is not something that we desire or seek. It is the opposite of life. Life, however, is very natural, and we naturally long to enjoy it to the fullest and to prolong it as much as we can.

And we would all prefer to see good days, wouldn't we? How do we do that? We've already seen that every life has it's share of trials and troubles, so is there anything we can do to make our days better? Peter gives us the answer here.

First, we must watch our words! Refrain our tongues from evil. Sadly, in the flesh, our natural inclination and custom is to speak evil. Instead, we must learn to speak only good and true words, words that will edify and build and encourage others. Don't speak evil, and don't lie. Not even "little white lies". Our words should be healing, not hurtful. The Bible has lots and lots to say about the importance of our words. They matter much more than we may think!

Second, depart from evil. Get away from it. Not just taking our hands off, but actually taking ourselves away from it! We must put distance between ourselves and temptation. There is no safe zone; we have to get away from it. Just like the old saying, if we lie down with pigs, we're going to get muddy; likewise, if we get close to sin we're going to get dirty. Don't play around, don't make excuses, don't think we're too big to fall, because we are not!

The Bible gives pleanty of instruction regarding getting away from evil. The word most often used is FLEE, as in run for your life! 1 Corinthians 6:18 tells us to FLEE fornication. In I Corinthians 10:14, we are warned to FLEE from idolatry. 1 Timothy  6:11 warns of those who equate gain with godliness, and intructs the children of God to FLEE from such worldly attitudes, and instead to be content and to seek righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 2 Timothy 2:22 also tells is to "FLEE also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart."

And third, Peter tells us to do good. This means planning, actively acting on the plan, and perservering with the plan. The best way to avoid doing evil is to actively do good instead. It won't happen by accident. It takes deliberate action on our part. Our default mode is evil, not good, so we are going to have to work at it if we truly want to see good days and have a happier life.

Finally, seek peace. That's not merely preferring peace, but again, actively and carefully seek it. Pursue it. Hunt after it, chase it with eager desire. Make it hapen. Seek peace with God, peace in our own hearts, and peace with others. Nothing is more important to our own happiness than having peace. Strife awakens negative passions that corrupt our hearts and our minds, and destabilizes our lives. Strife is negative, peace is positive.

None of these things are very easy to do, but all of them are absolutely necassary if we want to have a good life. They do not come naturally to us, our default setting is wickedness and pursuit of evil. It takes careful, deliberate choices on our part, but God will give us the grace to do these things, if we truly want to. And it is so worth it! God promises to keep His eyes on the righteous, and that He will hear our prayers. No matter how much time and effort it may take, it is so worth it to live a good, righteous life in peace with God, ourselves, and those around us!


© 2006 Luvdalot Graphics & Design