Be at Peace With One Another

Posted on: December 24th, 2023

 Over the course of my lifetime wartime conflicts have taken place, mostly in the Middle East and Africa. Even now there is again another war going on in the Middle East region.  It is very hard to ignore exactly what is happening and what drives these wars, particularly in the Middle East.  Both sides of the current conflict look to spiritual issues as their driving force, just as we Christians should do in regards to our everyday life.  Mark 9:50 tells us to “be at peace with one another.”  Is that our attitude as we live here in our peaceful little corner of the world?
    Being at peace with a world that is so full of evil is no easy task; the wiles of the devil are constantly bombarding us to see how we will react.  It is during these times that we need to stay strong and follow what should be guiding our lives all the while, the Bible.  Our lives and our patience are continually being tested by the world.  How many times does something happen to you every day that simply boggles your mind?  Do we have conflicts while driving or speaking with people who are extremely disrespectful for completely unknown reasons?  This is just another way the devil looks to have us make foolish choices which will in turn lead us to sin.
    Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matt. 5:9).  While we all know this, putting it into action is another story.  And make no mistake, I am not comparing our everyday lives to the issues and war going on in the Middle East.  I am showing how we as Christians are supposed to act in our current situations; while we do not have to worry about going into battle, we do have to worry about the battle for our souls that rages every day.  This may involve something as simple as a bad call at a sporting event.  Are we remaining in control and showing the world how we are supposed to “live at peace with everyone” (Rom. 12:18)?  Our influence not only is important for ourselves, but it can show those around us how Christians need to act.  When you stop to think about it, the responsibility is massive; the world is constantly looking at us to see if we will mess up; and make no mistake, we will mess up.  However, the reality is that we have to continually be moving, “pressing toward the goal for the prize of the upward call” (Phil. 3:14).   This is no easy task, for sure; however, with God all things are possible.
    The world always looks to what is pleasing to the flesh, and in most cases, what is easiest to do.  Do we lose control?  Do we avoid working out differences or troubles that arise?  Paul contrasts life in the flesh with life in the spirit, and the life of the flesh always leads to conflict.  One small piece of land is a driving force in the issues facing the Middle East.  Yet God teachers us to be content with what we have, which in turn will help us achieve that peace we look for.  Living for the spirit leads to that peace that we so greatly long for and are commanded to seek.   Every day we see the world actually eroding before our eyes. The peace our streets and cities once had have since been replaced with violence and evil of all sorts.  When nations stop looking towards God as their compass in life, sin is allowed to take hold and break down the fiber that was once there.  Galatians 5:19 clearly shows the negative consequences of the works of the flesh.  When these evils are prevalent and accepted, the peace that we long for is made so much harder to obtain and maintain.  Isaiah 48:22 tells us that the wicked have no peace, and we are sadly seeing that play out everyday.  Remember we must “be in the world but not of the world” (John 17:16).  While we live our everyday lives, trials and tribulations will surely come. However, we must remain at peace with all men, no matter our differences.  
    While we are not in a physical war like the one playing out in the Middle East, we are in a war for our souls against the wiles of the devil.  Every day he looks for ways to disrupt our focus on our Christian duty, which is doing what is right and acceptable towards God.  There is a reason that we are instructed to seek the kingdom of God and to dwell on him continually. If we let our guard down, the devil will slowly erode our thinking until good looks like evil and evil looks like good.  Stay on guard, brethren, and constantly be looking for that “peace which surpasses all understanding” (Phil 4:7). God be with us, and may we always seek peace with all.