Peter teaches us five ways to love the brotherhood of believers. I call these the five love languages of Peter. First, have “unity of mind” (v. 8), from homophron, from the word, homos, which means, “together,” and phren, “mind” (Strong). Literally, it means, “one mind together,” “likeminded,” “harmonious,” or “having the same attitudes” (Louw-Nida) Peter is not saying here that we all think the same way. Peter is telling us to have the same attitude toward something.
When I got married, I expected my wife to fit into my way of thinking. But I was wrong. I carry a handkerchief always. She doesn’t. I carry an umbrella when it’s raining. She doesn’t. I list things to do and things to buy in my cell phone. She doesn’t.
We all cannot think the same things the same way. What Peter is saying here is that we relate with each other harmoniously, having the same attitude, without quarreling.
Do you want to love life and live good days in your home? Stop fighting each other. Stop repeating the hateful words you said to each other. Forgive each other and talk to each other. With a forgiving attitude, love each other. Then you will love life and live good days.
Second, practice “sympathy” (v. 8). It translates the word, sumpascho, which means, “to experience pain jointly” (Strong) or to suffer together with someone.
Who is more likely to give more “tip” to the waiter? The one who understands the hardship of the waiter is more likely to give more to the waiter.
It was only last year that we bought a dog, a beagle. Mylene has come to love our beagle very much. She would pat him and stroke him and do things to him that she wouldn’t do to me. Sometimes I wish that I were a dog. One day Mylene saw stray dogs walking on the street. She told me that she now feels pity for street dogs that she didn’t feel before.
Every time I see those street kids begging for money under the heat of the sun, I feel sad deep inside. My first ministry was teaching Sunday school to poor kids in poor barangays. I feel their hardship, hunger, and pain. That’s what sympathy means—feeling the pain, experiencing the same thing together, and suffering together.
We should sympathize with each other’s situations. Sympathize with each other’s struggles. Be ready to enter into the situation of somebody today. Then you will love life and live good days.
Third, Peter wrote that we are to practice “brotherly love” (v. 8). The word is from philadelphos, which means “loving one another as brothers.” (Louw-Nida) Jesus said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35, NKJV). Love is the mark of true followers of Christ. Love for God, love for the Word of God, and love for one another.
How do we show love as in GGCF? Can you count the ways? We visit the sick. We visit the disabled and shut in. We give a love gift for the needy. Somebody lost his clothes and needed money. We gave him a love gift. Somebody lost a loved one. We gave a love gift. Somebody is in the hospital. Hospital bills are expensive. We give a love gift. We don’t just say, “We’ll pray for you.” We give money to the needy. This year, our theme is “Dare, Care, Share.” Dare to do something for God that you haven’t done before. Care for the needy. Share the Gospel.
I’d like our church, GGCF, to be known in Cebu City, as the church that loves God. I’d like GGCF to be known as the church that loves each other!