1 Samuel 26:1–27:12; 1 Peter 2:1–12; Psalm 128:1–129:8
“?‘Too often they have attacked me from my youth.’ Let Israel say, ‘Too often they have attacked me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me’?” (Psa 129:1–2). As these verses show, sometimes problems can be solved by simply reframing the issue at hand.
Peter makes a “reframing” move in his first letter. He could have focused on the people’s sin and their general need to repent, but then their attention would be on the problem, not solving it. So he shifts the focus: “Therefore, ridding yourselves of all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn infants long for the unadulterated spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up to salvation” (1 Pet 2:1–2). Peter calls them to approach their relationship with Christ like a newborn would milk. They must make Christ such a priority that He becomes something they need and long for. And as they long, their sinful behavior will be resolved.
Similarly, Peter addresses the people’s conflict with their culture as an opportunity for God to make them strong, like the stones used to build strong foundations: “And you yourselves, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Pet 2:5).
We can always choose where to place our attention. Often, we turn our attention toward preventing something (sin) at the cost of actually doing something good (growing in the Lord). If we keep our focus on our relationship with Christ, we can rise above our circumstances and find victory. “The blessing of Yahweh be upon you. We bless you in the name of Yahweh” (Psa 129:8). Reframing our lives makes way for blessing—it gives God room to do transformative work.
What is God asking you to reframe? Where is your focus?
John D. Barry