“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind” (I Peter 3:8).
The Apostle Peter now transitions in speaking to all believers in Christ about living peacefully in a pagan culture. We can all identify I believe with that since the culture we are now living in has become pagan before our eyes.
In light of the perspective of submission to the God created institutions of government, work and marriage, the apostle begins to encourage all believers to embrace specific Christian attitudes and behaviors in all areas of living. While not an exhaustive list, it is one which all disciples of Jesus should seriously embrace regarding our speech.
First, to have a unity of mind. It means to be united in spirit (ὁμόφρων; homophron). It is to have the same attitude and to follow the same path. Believers are to pursue a likeminded attitude regarding the Scriptures and to not be argumentative with each other in areas of disagreement. In other words, while we may disagree at times we are never to be disagreeable.
Second, to have sympathy towards one another. To be sympathetic (συμπαθής; sympathes) means to be understanding, concerned and kind towards others. In other words, to be caring and compassionate.
Third, to have brotherly love. Brotherly love (φιλάδελφος; philadelphos) means to love one another as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. It is to have a fond affection for fellow believers.
Fourth, to have a tender heart. Being tender hearted (εὔσπλαγχνος; eusplanchnos) parallels the previously mentioned word sympathy. It means to be compassionate and caring to others. The Apostle Paul used this word in Ephesians 4:32.
Fifth, to have a humble mind. To be humble (ταπεινόφρων; tapeinophrones) means to literally have simplicity of life, or to regard others as better than yourself.
Practically speaking, if we strive to put these virtues into practice in government, at work and in the home, I wonder how different life would become? Make every effort today to demonstrate these virtues before God and other people.
Soli deo Gloria!