‘… make every effort to add to your faith … mutual affection’ 2 Peter 1.5-7
In other versions of the Bible, the phrase ‘mutual affection’ is translated as ‘kindness’, ‘affection’ and ‘warm friendliness’. If it is not too much of a cliché, it is simply about being nice to people. It is about looking out for the needs of others and doing what you can to help them.
This calling to be nice is part of the Bible passage in which Peter laid down the foundations of our spiritual lives and encouraged us to grow in stature rather than to stumble and fall. Where ‘nice-ness’ comes in to this is that if we have an attitude of wanting to be kind to others, the focus is taken off us and our own needs. It’s not that our own needs are unimportant - they matter; indeed Peter himself said in his letter, ‘Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.’ (1 Peter 5.7) However, the point is that we may do better if we give our own needs to God and then focus on caring for others, and by doing this it is likely we will find other people drawing alongside us to meet our needs.
Touch the heart of God today simply by looking out for opportunities to be kind and caring to others.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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