Pursue Peace

Jesus said in Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”  As a child of God, you should be a peacemaker.  That means that you seek to live at peace with others and work to resolve conflicts between your neighbors, family members, and fellow Christians. 

The opposite of a peacemaker is a troublemaker.  You should never be a troublemaker.  A divisive person would be an example of such a person. Titus 3:10-11 “Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.”  James gives other reasons for trouble in relationships.  James 4:1-3 “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?  You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.  You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”   If you have the wrong spirit and attitude, you will be the troublemaker.

You are instructed to pursue peace.  Romans 14:19 “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.”  To pursue is to follow or go after something in order to overtake it.  Sometimes, pursuing peace may require considerable effort on your part.  There are other scriptures which instruct you to pursue peace.  Hebrews 12:14 “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.”  1 Peter 3:10-11 “For he who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit.  Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.”  It should be obvious that God wants you to work for peace.

Quarrels and disputes destroy peace.  2 Timothy 2:22-25 “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.  But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.  And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth.”  There may be times where you must stand against those who oppose the truth.  Even so, do not quarrel or fight with them, because this will usually cause harm and hard feelings.  Instead, you are told to be gentle, instructive, patient and humble.  In other words, have a loving spirit towards those who are in opposition.  If you do, God may grant them repentance; they may change their mind and come to know the truth.  If you fight with them, they will likely become defensive and resist the truth.  You are also told to avoid foolish and ignorant disputes.  Some things are unimportant and not worth arguing about.  In such a case, avoid being pulled into an argument.

One way to work for peace is to submit to each other.  This is the best approach in situations that are not a matter of right or wrong. 1 Peter 5:5-6 “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’  Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.”  When you insist that something must be done your way and someone else insists that it must be done his way, you have conflict.  You can humbly state how you see the matter, but if someone else has strong feelings about the matter, submit to him.  This will result in peace.

How can you work for peace?  The apostle Paul instructed the Ephesians in Ephesians 4:1-3 “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”  When you have humility, gentleness, patience and love and make every effort to work for unity, peace will likely follow.  This is true in all relationships, whether it be in the business world, between husband and wife, between neighbors, or within your church.  Each relationship requires these characteristics on your part for you to be the one working for peace.

In every relationship, it is your responsibility to be the one who works for peace.  Romans 12:18 “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”  Peace is not always possible.  However you can be the one who exhibits peaceful characteristics and attitudes and the one who works as the peacemaker.

Jesus made peace between us and God.  Speaking of Jesus, in Colossians 1:19-20 “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”  Just as Jesus made peace between us and God, you can also be a peacemaker between two individuals or groups that are in conflict.

Jesus said “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).  I encourage you to be a peacemaker whether it is between you and others or between two individuals that are in conflict.

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