Peace on Earth Day 15 – Being Peaceable to Others
“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14, ESV)
One big reason why there isn’t peace on earth is that there are people who are not being peaceable. Sometimes that includes me. If each person was always doing everything in their power to live at peace with others, the world would be a very different place. Because of sin, we are bent on having our own way, and we are prone to sarcasm, selfishness, unkindness and aggressiveness toward others. This should not be the behavior of the believer, but I must admit I’ve certainly struggled in this area.
Scripture gives us clear direction in the passage above: strive for peace with everyone! This means even the person who cut you off, the teacher with seemingly unfair treatment of your child, or a rude client. If you’re like me, your natural response to these types of behaviors is definitely not peaceable—far from it! Instead, we often feel that bad behavior is justified by bad behavior. But as Christ followers, that’s not the case at all!
The holidays can bring out the “rude” in all of us if we aren’t careful. When we get overly busy, it can become easy to snap and argue with others. And while the holidays may be a season when we need to practice spreading peace in our relationships and encounters with others, for the Christian it’s a habit that continually needs to be honed and developed. Not being peaceable leads to relationship issues and disunity; both are harmful to the local church and reflect poorly on the Name we are identified with as His people.
Before we speak or respond or react, may we be willing to ask ourselves this question: “Will this spread peace?” And if it will not, may we have the wisdom and discernment to shut our mouths and refuse to engage poorly. This is an area I’ve not yet mastered, and I’m still a work in progress. May God give us the needed help to be people who spread His peace to all.