Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 1 Peter 3:8
The other day I went to the store with a list. It had specific items I needed to purchase, and I walked through the store checking them off. They were in different isles and sections in the store; some were familiar to me so I knew their location, and others were a bit foreign and I had to figure it out. At the end of my expedition, my list was complete.
When I arrived home, I went to work. No, not at the church but in the kitchen. I began combining the various items together with the purpose of making something bigger. You see, the list was a recipe and the items were components of something larger than the sum of its parts. In the end, the recipe and the finished product were the results of a guiding force (in this case Chef Pat)
Often when we come to lists in the Bible, we have the tendency to compartmentalize them and check the individual ingredients off. Sometimes we even hyper focus on specific ingredients, and ignore others (especially when they are challenges to us). We like our lists of sins so we can feel better about ourselves that we don’t steal, murder, or commit sexual immorality, and yet ignore others that we are especially adept at such as gossip or slander. But behind this list is a recipe, and behind the recipe is the One who created it with purpose!
Today, Peter gives us a list. This time it is not a list of sins but rather it is a list of good behaviors to practiced until they become Holy Habits. Look at the ingredients: unity, sympathy, love, tenderness, and humbleness. What is this a recipe for?
This is a recipe that combines individual believers together with the end result being a community. It is an recipe for changing the environment by being combined to create an active living being known as the Body of Christ. But more importantly, the recipe reflects the One who developed the recipe so that the church may ultimately reflect the Glory, Love, and Mercy of the Master Chef.
Can you imagine what the finished product would be like if every Christian actually followed this recipe from Peter to the letter?