"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one anther in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:2-3
I am convinced that one of the ways the enemy attacks our peace the most is through relationships. Think about it. How many times have you been stressed and worried, agitated and aggravated because of someone else? Perhaps it was something they did. Or didn't do. Maybe it was a rumor spread, lie told or promise broken. Maybe it was simply that they didn't do what you think they should have done. They may have purposely tried to harm you. They may not have even known that they hurt you. Whatever the case, relationships can wreak havoc on our peace.
The sad thing is, not only does this lack of peace hurt us personally, it hurts the Body of Christ and our Christian witness. When we are at odds with one another, we are choosing to throw the verse above right out the window and act out of selfish ambition. We want to feel hurt. We have a right to be angry. We are justified in our frustration. But are we really? Is there ever a time when our feelings give us the right to disregard the Word of God?
Working in the church, it truly saddens me to see how many people choose to act and speak out of those feelings rather than keep the peace. We are told in Matthew that the peacemakers are "blessed" and will be called "sons of God." I'm sure we would love for those words to describe us! But how hard are we working to keep the peace? Are we making every effort to be "humble", "gentle", and "bear with one another in love"? It is not an easy thing. Many times, we truly have been wronged. But that does not excuse us from walking in the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit and choosing to live in peace.
This is something God has convicted me of this week. I need to do a better job of keeping the peace in my relationships. It takes effort and selfless love, but if I am going to be a powerful, Holy Spirit-led Christian, there is no other way to live. I encourage you today- pray about the relationships in your life. Ask the Lord to show you where you can choose to be the peacemaker. Let His Holy Spirit give you the strength to act out of the truth of the Word of God rather than your feelings. When you do, I believe His wonderful peace will flood your life as you submit every area of your life to Him.
"Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification." Romans 14:19