Thursday, August 13, 2015

Living in Peace - Martin Wiles

Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14 NLT

For most of world history, peace has been temporary. The United States of America began after fighting the Revolutionary War. In the twentieth century alone, World War I, World War II, the Korean conflict, and the Vietnam War were waged, not including the various campaigns waged against terrorism. 

Wars are also fought in relationships. Millions of marriages have little or no peace. Parents fight and divorce…or just fight. Siblings rage at each other or their parents. Work places can also be places of turmoil. Regardless of how diligently we work to live at peace, the end seems to move farther from sight.

There wasn’t much peace in the first century world either. Rome had conquered the known world and spread its Pax Romana (Roman peace) throughout the regions it controlled, but the peace was often enforced by a heavy handed military presence. It wasn’t easy for Christians to live at peace with those who might martyr them because of their beliefs. 

Living at peace with everyone requires hard work. I’ve walked through marital seasons where it required colossal energy to keep the peace. My parents didn’t always find it easy to live at peace with me when I was a teenager. There were times when I faced the same with my children. If I live long enough, I’ll probably walk the same road with my grandchildren. 

I’ve worked in some places where it seemed no one could get along for any length of time. Gossip, backbiting, arguing, cursing. Knowing total peace won’t exist until Christ comes and ushers in the new heaven and earth doesn’t give me an excuse not to work for it nevertheless. 

At home, work, school, community groups, my country, and in the world, I must be a shining light of one who desires peace with all people. When I couple this desire with a holy lifestyle, I’ll enjoy more peaceful relationships than I will otherwise. 

What can you do to foster peace in your surroundings?

Prayer: Father, give us the strength and wisdom to live at peace with others. 

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