Hmmmmm...life and its never ending drama!
Ok, so weeks ago I put up a post about knowing your God, being strong and all that, only for me to get all weak a few days later. Ever gotten so upset to the point of wanting to use needle and thread to do some running stitches right through someone's mouth? I was that upset! Even though I tried to be calm, the level of anger deep within made me realise how much I needed Jesus in my life!
Anyways, the whole drama got me thinking about Hebrews 12:14 which says "Follow peace with all men and holiness without which no man shall see God"
In a world filled with people with different beliefs, behaviour and temperament, is it really possible to follow peace with all men? What exactly does God mean when He says we should follow peace with all men?
Is following peace about making sure you don't step on anybody's toes or is it about making sure you are in everyone's good books?
How does one really follow peace in an environment where drama just never ends? Is it by keeping quiet irrespective of what people do to you or by addressing issues in a godly, fair and open manner?
Is it by turning the other cheek when you've just been given a dirty hot resounding slap or by taking to your heels after the first slap in order to avoid getting slapped again?
In my quest to follow peace with people, I tried doing all sorts in the past but sadly enough nothing seems to have worked 100%. In many cases it was more like I got into bigger trouble after each peace-making strategy!
At some point I started thinking "Do I have to kill myself just to follow peace or please people?"
The question is how far do we have to go in inconveniencing ourselves just to follow peace? Following peace with everyone isn't always easy, I think it's one of the hardest thing God requires of us. People will get on your nerves, frustrate and disappoint you from time to time but you have to aggressively pursue peace because contrary to popular believe, the christian race isn't just about our relationship with God, our relationship with others matter a lot! For example, the bible says in Matthew 5:23-24 "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift."
Like me, I'm sure at some point in your life you've read that bible text murmuring something close to " why can't I give my nicely packaged offering just because somebody somewhere is upset with me for no good reason? or why should I be the one to go say sorry first?".
Following peace with others can be difficult . There will be times you have to apologise to people not because you are wrong but because you just want peace to reign. Sometimes following peace with others will hurt you terribly, you might have to do things your natural self won't like but you see, it's really not about what you feel, it's more about what God thinks. It's impossible to pursue holiness without pursuing peace and without holiness you can't see God. In other words, if you cannot follow peace with all men you cannot make it to heaven!
On this issue "follow peace with all men", I really can do with some grace and more of those fruits of the spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23...It is my prayer that God will give us the grace to follow peace with all in Jesus name. Amen.