Are you presently experiencing strife and discord with someone? Are you overwhelmed and upset? Will separation be the outcome of your grievances? Have you made peace your goal? God’s Word tells us to pursue peace but how? Make God your hope for reconciliation and keep reading for understanding.
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Psalm 34:14
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18
The Bible has been given to us so that we can know God and know His will. We are either in obedience or disobedience to His command to love God and love one another, so watch over your heart with all diligence!
You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 1 Corinthians 3:3
Definitions: Peace is harmony in personal relationships; the absence of hostilities and freedom from strife and dissention; to seek peace is to actively search for it. To pursue peace is to chase after peace as a goal.
Make Sure You Are Not the One Slamming the Door on Peace
The first question to honestly ask yourself might be, “how badly do I want unity?” The next question to answer is, “how hard have I worked to achieve it?” Review the verses and definitions again and ask yourself if they describe what you have done so far. You are not at peace if you are still holding on to past offenses and grudges? If it is possible means that as long as there is the possibility for peace you will work toward that. As far as it depends on you, the door will always be open to restoring the relationship, even if another is presently unwilling and has slammed the door shut. Your heart is at peace with them even if they are not at peace with you.
Are You Too Wounded to Pursue Peace?
Are you busy licking your wounds and nursing your hurts so it is extremely difficult right now to even want to pursue peace? Is your focus the other person and what he/she has done? If you were to be honest would you say, “At this moment, I am hurt and I am also angry!” “I really have no desire to pursue peace with this person.” I understand because I have been where you are so let me commend you for admitting honest feelings. If you continue to wear a “spiritual” mask, you will never be honest with God or man. Honest emotions bring you out from the darkness and into the light so that you will finally be ready to depend on God alone for healing. In time, you will then be able to allow God’s forgiveness to flow through you. Jesus is compassionate and merciful so unburden yourself to Him in prayer.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
Obstacles to Peace
Is This You?
Many people have a “Spiritual Check List” kind of mentality with the sole purpose of avoiding personal guilt. It looks something like this: “Well I ‘tried’ to make peace once or twice so my conscience is clear.” What exactly did you do? Can you honestly say that you made peace your goal? The answer would have to be “no,” if you were rehearsing his/her offenses when you “tried.”
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:3
Sin must first be confronted in your own life before going to the other person. Without confession of sin, true peace will not be achieved because your heart will remain hard and superior.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24
Peace will fail unless you sacrifice your own pride because you won’t truly care about peace with the other person, you will care mainly about protecting yourself, about being right and winning.
“If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23-24
True humility and peace are the work of the Holy Spirit.
‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. Zechariah 4:6
Forgiveness is a supernatural act of God
If God has forgiven you, why are you so willing to punish others for their sins instead of forgiving them? Forgiveness is not something you can achieve in the flesh as an act of your will so you can check it off your spiritual scorecard. No one should ever be taking credit for forgiveness!
Forgiveness is a completed work when the offense of another no longer has power over you. By God’s Spirit, you have released and cancelled the debt the person owes you. You are now set free to extend God’s forgiveness to another.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:13-15
Don’t stop at forgiveness! You have not yet pursued peace with the goal of reconciliation.
Restoring the Relationship
There is no love without the truth
God is not calling us to “peace at any price;” this would be a false peace. God desires truth in our innermost being and He also calls us to speak the truth in love. You cannot expect reconciliation without this step! Truth and love always go together and only through the Spirit of God can we achieve the balance of both. A wounded relationship is a golden opportunity for an authentic relationship to take root when the charade of a false peace has been exposed by the truth.
Each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. Ephesians 4:25
“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.” Matthew 18:15
It only takes one to desire peace and pursue it but it takes two to have a relationship. Sometimes you are dealing with an unreasonable, unwilling partner who has not forgiven you and who secretly enjoys being the offended party and maintaining control. You absolutely cannot reason together because he/she is only self-interested and so has no interest in pursuing peace with you; their actions have proven this over time. This kind of person will always blame you while maintaining his/her own righteousness. Sadly, the relationship may end but it will not be for lack of obedience on your part to seek and pursue peace. Their actions have shut the door to peace, but you can keep your own heart soft by continuing to pray for his/her repentance. Never give up the hope of peace and reconciliation. If God can raise the dead, He can restore a relationship!
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9
Continue to Read and Study God’s Word for Yourself
It will Change Your Life!
Personal Bible study for “Pursue Peace”
Week 1: Exodus 20:16; Psalms 15:1-5; 34:14; 55:12-14, 20-22; 139:23-24; Proverbs 3:3-8; 10:12, 18; 15:1, 4; 16:2, 5; 24:29; 30:33
Week 2: Zechariah 4:6; 7:9; 8:16-17; Matthew 5:7-9, 23-24; 6:12; 11:28-30; 18:15-17, 21-35; 22:36-40; Luke 6:32-36; Romans 12:17-21
Week 3: 1 Corinthians 3:3; Galatians 4:16; 5:19-26; 6:9-10; Ephesians 4:1-3, 25-27, 29-32; Colossians 3:12-17
Week 4: Hebrews 4:14-16; 12:14-15; 13:20-21; 1 Peter 3:8-12; 5:5-7; 1 John 1:5-10; 2:3-6, 9-11; 4:7-13, 19-21
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