Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble.
That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless - that's your job, to bless. You'll be a blessing and also get a blessing.
Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, Here's what you do: Say nothing evil or hurtful;
Snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you're worth.
God looks on all this with approval, listening and responding well to what he's asked; But he turns his back on those who do evil things.
If with heart and soul you're doing good, do you think you can be stopped?
Even if you suffer for it, you're still better off. Don't give the opposition a second thought.
Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you're living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy.
Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They'll end up realizing that they're the ones who need a bath.
It's better to suffer for doing good, if that's what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)