Just a brief and rather random thought from me today…
I’ve read the NT a lot, I guess, so I don’t really expect to see words appearing in the middle of verses as if for the first time. Yet that’s what has happened for me in 1 Peter 3:6!
Peter is talking about what constitutes beauty in women. He’s not just talking about women in the passage, to be fair. But that is who he is talking about in verse 6. He says that to be a daughter of Sarah (and, implicitly, a woman of faith) we must do good.
So far, so good. I am on familiar territory here! But then comes the next prerequisite to being Sarah’s child.
You must ‘not fear anything that is frightening’ (ESV).
Where did that come from? And how have I been blind to it throughout twelve years of faith, of which four have been at Bible college?! (I do love when this happens.) 🙂
What strikes me most about this is that not only is courage a prerequisite to being like the holy women of old, but it seems different from the usual Bible command not to be afraid. Usually I’ve read Biblical admonitions not to be afraid as statements that we (or, should I say, the hearer of the statement – just to prove that I am not totally collapsing my hermeneutic into a kind of reader-response!) have nothing to be afraid of and therefore we ought not to waste any more energy being fearful. In essence, fear which is only subjective should not slow us down in our walk of faith.
This one, though, seems a bit different. Do ‘not fear that which IS frightening’.
It seems to me that it is, perhaps, more than a call no longer to give way to fear which is subjective. Rather it moves towards being an expectation that I will not fear those things which are objectively frightening, those things which I have good reason to fear.
Hmm, something to think about. According to Peter:
Female beauty = goodness + courage in the face of objectively frightening things.
What do you think – am I making too much meaning out of this handful of words?!