Thursday, February 18, 2010

Peaceful Striving

Suggested Reading: Hebrews 12:14-24

Strive for peace with everyone...
See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness" springs up and causes trouble...

Hebrews 12:14-15

Even with the briefest of glances one can see that the world isn’t pursuing peace. Newspaper columns and Internet sites bulge with illustrations of the difficulty of finding peaceful solutions. While peaceful ideas abound, we remain in an unpeaceful mess. Finding ourselves surrounded by battles at home, church, neighborhoods and countries we wonder, is it possible to find peace in a world that ricochets from battle to battle?

The world of the Hebrew writer, written around A.D. 68, was fraught with turmoil, unrest, discontent, jealousy and vindictiveness. Human nature has apparently endured through the centuries! If this is the case, is there any hope for us, as 21st century Jesus followers? Absolutely!

Strive for peace with everyone. It’s not a suggestion but a command implying that the goal is attainable. Human nature, or that uncomfortable word, sin, causes us to fall short. Too often the natural instinct is not peace striving but defensive strategizing!

Perhaps a negative word has been said or the appropriate appreciation wasn’t given. Maybe a neighbor was nosy or a spouse cheated. When we perceive an injustice we can quickly become strategists for our defense. And we don’t stop with just the battle. Having conquered our enemy we continue tilling the soil planting the root of bitterness in order to remember how we were wronged.

Striving for peace with everyone seems impossible. Nevertheless, the striving indicates movement and like a regular routine of exercise, a conscious choice of peaceful striving is required. The results initially aren’t always apparent but soon our spiritual muscles are strengthened and we will find that our impossible has become God’s possible.
Thought for the Day: How can my life become more an act of peaceful striving and not defensive strategizing?
Jesus, you lived a life of peaceful striving.
Help me to live each day in the same manner.


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