Be at Peace

Be at Peace

Romans 12:18; 14:19


Have you noticed that over the past few weeks people have gotten a little grumpier? Some have even gotten violent. In New Jersey, a gym owner decided to defy the stay closed order and open his gym. There was a crowd of people there shouting against the state government. He was arrested and later the sewer backed up inside his gym. Conspiracy theory anyone?


In Mississippi a church that had filed suit against the cities order not to hold services was burned to the ground. In the parking lot were the words “Bet you stay home now you hypokrites (sic).” All across our country people are getting frustrated and angry and I guess you can say a lot of it is justified, people have lost their jobs, their businesses, and just getting through, what was once, normal procedures has been made difficult.


But as Christians we have a higher bar to meet. In the book of Romans Paul writes, But if it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18) Then two chapters later he reiterates that thought with these words:

Let us there make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. (Romans 14:19)


God places a high priority on people living together peacefully. And so, should we. Yes, people are on edge — for good reason. They’re stressed. They’re worried. They’re afraid. And it is up to you and me to do our best to bring peace into each and every potentially tense situation, each and every potentially tense conversation.


Eleanor Roosevelt said, “It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.” Her words ring true not only at the political level, or the international level, but also at the community level, the church level, the family level, and the friendship level. This is why the Bible challenges us again and again: Do what you can to live in peace with one another. And it’s not just a casual suggestion. This is a top priority of the Christian life. And, as the former first lady said, we need to work at it to make it happen.


It’s not that we merely co-exist, living separate but parallel lives, like two disconnected extension cords laying side by side. No, we plug in to each other. We connect. In doing so, we experience God’s power and his presence. This is exactly what the Apostle said in his final words to the Corinthian church: Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. (2 Corinthians 13:11)


That is a tremendous promise. Would you like to have God’s love and peace? Then make it your priority to maintain an atmosphere of peace with others.