Monday, November 19, 2007

"Live in Peace With All Men"

"Make every effort to live in peace with all men..." Hebrews 12:14a

"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me." Matthew 5:11

I don't about you, but these verses seem to be at least the slightest bit in conflict. I mean, that second example does not seem to me to be loving at peace with all men, considering the lying, insults and persecutions that are going on. I had always heard this cute little saying popping around Christianity that says "If you are at peace with God, you will be at peace with the people around you."

And that is when I read something that got me thinking. I am reading the cutting edge book by Craig Gross, the founder of XXXChurch, a leading ministry in tackling pornography and providing services to help people get free, and J.R. Mahon called Starving Jesus. In it, J.R. makes this interesting statement:

Please not that: I'm at peace with God. That's important to know because while I'm at peace with him, I am not completely peaceful with all the human beings around me, and some of them I don't even know. Starving Jesus pg 4

I started thinking about how offensive this radical message of Jesus can be, asking people to surrender all and lay down there lives. And, how the darkness hates the light. and, what Jesus saud above about persecution and insults and all that and it seems that the cute little saying breaks down when we investiagate it more closely.

So, it appears that, as thew writer of Hebrews says, we should "make every effort to live in peace" with everyone, both Christians and non-Christians alike. We should be as shrewd as snakes but as innocent as doves. As I have said before, the gospel is offensive enough without us adding offense to it. At the same time, though, may we understood that there will be times when we are lied about, insulted, even hated.

May we continue to love, even in the face of evil and hatred. May the Spirit even give us the words to speak at times like that. Lord, help us to love like you loved.

1 comment:

Faithful said...

Thanks for this! I was looking for a blog that would help me find peace with my mom(as we are always quarelling) and I found this! Thanks, it was helpful in some ways! :)