Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
I Peter 3:9
It's an opportunity we get, practically every day.
In traffic, in the store, in the neighborhood, in the classroom.
It's an opportunity that opens up our inheritance in the Lord, a chance to validate our calling card into the heavenlies.
But this opportunity doesn't come wrapped in a beautiful spiritual package, tied off with a bow of angelic sparkle.
This opportunity arrives in the form of evil and insult.
So it can be a little hard to recognize.
The hostile driver in traffic cuts us off and gestures to us in an inappropriate way. The co-worker snaps at us, hurling deprecating remarks. The gossip talks, the grumpy harangues, the boss badgers.
It's opportunity knocking.
We have a choice to make in such situations.
We can hurl a bigger and better insult at that driver, that gossip, that boss.
Or we can cash in on the opportunity.
The opportunity to return that evil, that insult with a blessing.
Peter tells us that we should repay evil and insult with a blessing. The Greek word for this type of blessing is 'eulogeo' and it means to speak well of, to speak best wishes over that person.
Not easy to do, in the face of insult.
But an opportunity.
Because Peter goes on to tell us that when we exercise 'eulogeo', we inherit 'eulogia'.
It's one of those passages where English fails us a bit in that English interprets 'eulogeo' and 'eulogia' both as 'blessing'. But in the Greek, there is a subtle but important distinction.
When we give a blessing, 'eulogeo', in return for an insult, we inherit the blessing, 'eulogia', which is defined as the indwelling of God, an indwelling that in definition should bring full spiritual satisfaction. We inherit consecration from the Lord when we bless those who castigate us. By simply speaking words of kindness and best wishes, we receive spiritual satiation and ordination.
To experience contempt.
To return with 'eulogeo', blessing.
And to then receive 'eulogia', the smile of God on our lives.
Seems a small investment to make for an amazing return.