When there is strain, brokenness and even outright hatred and animosity between people, it seems that the possibility of peace is impossible. This would be true if the only peace we would be willing to recognize as true peace was the absolute ending of all tensions by all the people involved.
God’s way of peace begins with One. Himself. His life. His sacrifice for our peace. God does it all. We, then, have the choice as to whether or not we will live at peace with Him.
…the punishment that brought us peace was upon him… – Isaiah 53:5
Yet, for us, when our relationships with others are seething – even under the surface – with bitterness, judgment, misjudgment, hurt and anger, we will often wait for the other person to make the first move towards restoring the relationship. After all, their wrongs have been so very wrong – and certainly more wrong than ours. They owe us an apology first – and it darn well better be a good one. They are the ones who need to change first. And certainly more than we do. They are the ones who really need to prove themselves as ready to be different if there is ever going to be any peace in any way in this relationship.
Oh! We so very much need to get over ourselves! We need to recognize the responsibility that we each have to live at peace with others. We need to choose to follow Christ’s example and allow humility and courage to mingle within our hearts and minds so that peace will flow from our mouths and actions. In all of our interactions.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. – Romans 12:18
I know that peace with certain people will not always be possible, and certainly not all of the time. With other people, peace may never be possible, at any time. You and I have no power to change anyone, in any way. However, each of us does have the power to choose to give up our own stubborn pride and self-centered, self-focused attitudes and behaviors. We can choose to seek God’s wisdom and way of peace to show us what we can, and should do – how we are to think and speak and act with others – in order to live at peace with everyone as far as it depends on us.
As we raised our daughters, we tried to teach them that each person within our family has the same power to either be a Peace-Maker or a Peace-Breaker. How they used their power to make or break the peace was their own choice. It depended on them. They couldn’t make that choice for anyone else in the family.
Living at peace with others, God’s Way, depends on one. One person humbly, courageously choosing to do the right thing, even if no one else does.
Our Lord Jesus, the Prince of Peace, gave up His life to bring us peace. What might you need to give up in order for the possibility of peace to flow through your own heart and soul and into the lives of others?