PC-USA 1997-03-21 - Peace

There are a lot of places today where there is a lack of peace. In our homes. In our churches. In our workplaces. Spouses fight over child-raising or taking out the garbage; relatives battle over possessions of deceased family members. Friends bicker over the trivial and the deep. Misunderstandings, pride, or love of power cause friction in relationships. This is pretty normal stuff. But to God, peace is pretty important:

Mat 5:9 (NIV) Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

God wants us believers to live in peace with all people, when possible.

Heb 12:14 (NIV) Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

In fact, peaceful relationships are inextricably linked to our Christian witness:

John 17:23 (NIV) I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

When nonbelievers look at us Christians, and see us bickering among ourselves, is it any wonder they don't want to be a part of us, that they consider us hypocrites?

Yes, doctrinal basics are important. However, we can discuss them civilly and lovingly. And there are some matters that are not essentials; they are surface issues, expendables. Why spend our time arguing over these things, when we could better spend that time advancing the Kingdom, and ministering to people?

Think about the relationships in your life, that are troubled. What have you got to lose, by trying to reconcile, by taking the first step? If you are rebuffed, God will reward you eventually, if not here on Earth. And who knows -- perhaps that person is just waiting for you to make the first move! So much bitterness and heartache can be avoided and overcome, by living peaceably, by overlooking little faults. I can almost guarantee that when you get to the end of your Earthly life, you will so glad that you reached out, that you tried to repair relationships.

Dear Father, please help us to live peaceably, to follow in the footsteps of our Prince of Peace. Help us to be peacemakers, and while never watering down doctrine, help us to remember, that those we disagree with, are valuable to You -- that You sent Your Son to die for them also. Enable us to see each other through Your eyes, and to treat each other as You would. In Jesus' name, amen.