How does that title grab you? I daresay we all want to enjoy our lives and experience many days of happiness!
As I continue my journey of reading through the New Testament, yesterday brought me to 1 Peter 3:10-11.
“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 eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.“
I was excited to see that right here in the Scriptures, God gives us instructions on how to “love life and see good days.” Let’s take a look at what He says.
1. Watch what you say.
First, we’re told to keep our mouths from speaking evil. Does that mean not using curse words or taking God’s name in vain? Yes, it does. But it goes even further. Think of gossip, insults, criticism, complaining, or blasting angry words.
Secondly, we’re to make sure we speak honestly and sincerely. No lying, slandering, flattering, or using our words to deceive others.
James calls our tongues “an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” [3:8], so using our mouths in the wrong way is a natural, fleshly response. Overcoming it is a lifelong struggle and not one we can win on our own. This can be a daily matter of prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to help us watch what we say. It’s the first key to loving life and living happily.
2. Avoid evil and do good.
The second key is to turn away from wickedness. Here’s another daily challenge since evil tends to come at us from lots of angles. Whether it’s outward actions of disobedience to God’s commands or sinful heart attitudes, we need to keep away from evil.
Instead, we can choose to do good. The Bible instructs us in the right way to live. We read it and obey what we find there. We perform acts of kindness to others, not for the purpose of salvation, but to bring glory to God.
3. Live in peace with God and others.
We can live in peace as we learn to trust God. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” ~Isaiah 26:3.
Big or small problems come to each of us regularly, but the Bible tells us how to have peace in those situations, too. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:6-7
We’re also to seek peace in our relationships. In the midst of a passage that talks about blessing those who curse you and feeding your enemy when he’s hungry, we read, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” [Romans 12:18]
So there we have it, friends. Want to enjoy your life and spend your days well? Be careful what you say, choose to do what’s right instead of wrong, and seek peace with God and others. May the Holy Spirit grant us the power to live this way!