The Weekly Pulpit
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:…
I. A REASONABLE DESIRE. We have, in common with the beasts the intense desire to preserve our lives, a natural shrinking from death; and it would be easy to show you the important place of this universal sentiment in the Divine economy. It is indeed the basis of society; the secret of man's right relations with his brother. For his jealousy in guarding the treasure of his own life makes him careful to preserve the treasure of life for his brother. But it may be thought that the supreme interest which the Christian has in the life to come should make him indifferent to the continuance of this life. But that notion belongs to extravagant sentiment, and has no countenance from Bible teachings. It is only morbid feeling that leads to ill-speaking of present scenes and opportunities. But St. Peter uses another expression for the befitting Christian desire. A man should hope for "good days": days filled up with goodness, in the sense of good doings, and consequent good enjoyings. Ours cannot be "good days" unless we enjoy a fair measure of health, have useful occupation, and the pleasure of loving friendships.
II. THIS REASONABLE DESIRE ATTAINED. The apostle lays down three conditions, and they are all thoroughly practical.
1. He who would see good days will have to rule his speech: "let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile." If we would see how this "ruling of our speech" stands related to "seeing good days," let us think how many of the misunderstandings and separations and troubles of our lives have come out of hasty, unwise, unkind, impure speeches.
2. He will have to order his conduct. And that involves work of two kinds, each closely related to the other. As soon as we take our life into our hands, and resolve to get it into fair shape, we find there is much to cut off. The attaining of good ever goes along with the clearing out of evil. And this makes the moral conflict of our lives. We must be doing good, seeking good, filling up our lives with good, that evil cannot even squeeze in edgeways. Activity in goodness is our safeguard. Temptation gains its effective power upon the idlers.
3. He will have to tone his relations. "Let him seek peace, and ensue it." By peace we must understand peaceableness, the spirit of the peacemaker, gentle, considerate, charitable.
(The Weekly Pulpit.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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: