Peace matters to God.
In Isaiah 9:6, Jesus is called the "Prince of Peace." In John 14, peace is the gift Jesus promises to give to His disciples. First Corinthians 14:33 tells us "for God is not a God of disorder but of peace." Galatians 5:22 lists peace among the fruit of the Spirit in the lives of believers. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Peace is referred to almost 250 times throughout the Bible.
But what kind of peace does our God value exactly? Is He talking about world powers or political policy when He references peace? Is He asking us to join the kind of peace movement that motivates people to march or rally?
Maybe. But it seems He’s most interested in personal peace. He is calling each of us to strive to live in harmony with the people we share life with. He clearly asks us to do our part to get along with others, to consider their needs ahead of our own, and to work toward reconciliation when conflict splinters our relationships.
Matthew 5:9 says, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God."
James 3:18 says, "Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness."
Peace is a free gift that God gives us as His children, but it’s not a gift we should keep to ourselves. God tells us to work live at peace with those around us.
"Yeah, Erin, we know. We’ve heard this peacemaker business before."
But have you really heard what God is saying about making peace? Are you doing everything you can to remove conflict from your life and relationships? Still nodding your heads? Then let me get more specific—are you a peacemaker with your family?
I’m often surprised by young women who think that God’s message of peace doesn’t apply to the way they relate to their parents and siblings. They will go to great lengths to keep the peace with their friends and acquaintances, but when it comes to their relationships with their family, the gloves are off. Fighting is "normal." Peace is off the table.
Girls, this isn’t God’s model. God never gives us permission to choose chaos and conflict in our family relationships. Even though family relationships are often very complex and conflicts within families often difficult to resolve, God’s message is the same: Make peace.
"But you don’t know my parents. You don’t have to live with my brothers and sisters. I’m trying to keep the peace, but they always pick fights with me."
Check out Romans 12:18:
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
"As far as it depends on you." In other words, do your part. You can’t create a peaceful household all by yourself, but you can do everything possible to live at peace with your family.
With that in mind, I want you to consider this question: Are you a peacemaker? Specifically, are you doing your part to live at peace with your family?
We can all use some work in this area. That’s why I am giving you a homework assignment. What are three things you can do today to create a more peaceful environment in your home? Do you need to write a letter, drop a habit, let go of bitterness or anger?
Leave us a comment below to tell us how you plan to make peace, then hop back on the blog Monday for more on being a peacemaker.