1 Peter 3:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Peter 3:11, NIV: "They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it."

1 Peter 3:11, ESV: "let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it."

1 Peter 3:11, KJV: "Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it."

1 Peter 3:11, NASB: "HE MUST TURN AWAY FROM EVIL AND DO GOOD; HE MUST SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT."

1 Peter 3:11, NLT: "Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it."

1 Peter 3:11, CSB: "and let him turn away from evil and do what is good. Let him seek peace and pursue it,"

What does 1 Peter 3:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse continues Peter's reference to King David's words in Psalm 34:12–16. These verses describe the very specific choices made by those who want to love life and see good days. Peter mentions this statement from David after declaring, in verse 9, that Christians must not seek revenge. Even when insulted or treated with evilness, we should give a blessing in return.

David's words show how that is to our benefit. Those who want to love life and see good days refuse to use words to harm. This, even against those who have harmed us (1 Peter 3:10). Peter continues to say that, instead, we should turn away from evil and do good. This "turning away" is probably two-fold. To the extent that we are able, we move away from the hurt done to us. Even more so, though, we turn away from our natural response to do evil to others in return.

But we cannot simply turn "away," in general. We must turn "toward" something. God's set-apart people are called to turn toward doing good. For us, when confronted with evil, God means for our response to become, "What good can I do?" More specifically, we are to ask, "Where is the peace?" Or, "How can I help create peace?"

Notice the word "pursue." Finding peace, making peace, will not always be easy. It will often require searching and chasing. Escalating conflict, the sequence of revenge, is always the easier, more naturally human path. Turning from evil to do good and make peace will always be the more difficult choice. But that's what God's people are called to do, and that's the path to loving life and seeing good days. This applies both between brothers and with strangers who wish to hurt us.