Choosing peace in a contentious world
We live in a contentious time. It seems as if people long for a fight and look to be offended.
Between 24-hour “news” and our social media feeds, we can find a reason to be hostile or hurt without much effort at all.
I don’t know about you, but it all makes me want to binge watch ’80s sitcoms and eat all the Ben & Jerry’s.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t make any sort of impact on the conversations or the relationships.
One of the great challenges of being a Christ-follower is the admonition to pursue peace. We’re called to live in peace, to promote peace, to offer peace – in all situations, with all people.
“Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.” —1 Peter 3:11 NLT
As Christians, we need to be on the hunt for peace, searching for it. But how? It starts, always, by walking with the One who gives all peace. Jesus is the only path to true peace, even in the midst of all our heartache and suffering.
“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have overcome the world.” —John 16:33 CSB
Because we belong to Christ, we are called to let that peace rule our hearts, impacting our thoughts and actions. “And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts, and be thankful.” —Colossians 3:15 CSB
But how do we find this peace?
It doesn’t happen the way we might expect. We find peace as we come to the Lord with all our thoughts and fears and concerns.
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayers and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 4:6-7 CSB
Finally, as we embrace the peace of God in our own hearts, we are able to extend that peace to those around us. “Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness – without it no one will see the Lord.” —Hebrews 12:15 CSB
Peace isn’t found in feelings or circumstances. True peace can only be known through intimacy with Christ.