Follow Peace with All Men

September 26, 2022

Follow Peace with all Men

Hebrews 12:14

Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

               Often our relationships with others reflect the true condition our soul.  Just as our words are the reflection of our heart, our relationships with people should be the expression and the root of our relationship with our heavenly Father.  So often there is such a contradiction between what we want to think we are our as Christians and how we really treat other people.  Can we say that we are at peace with all of those that we have been in relationship with?  Have we ended up offending, hurting, betraying, backbiting, gossiping or taking advantage of someone we have been relationship with at some level of social interaction?  Have we found people that, for some reason, no longer want to associate with us or have turned against us?   Unfortunately, we aren’t often as pure and godly as we would like to think we are.  Through careless words, deeds or acts of selfishness, we can offend and hurt others without even realizing it.  This is especially true of the ones we say we love; our families, spouses, children or parents.  Loving and close relationships are much like our reputation, we can spend years building them and in one careless moment we can destroy them.  Perhaps some of us have issues like that today.  We may have even acknowledged our offense, repented of it, but maybe the person we have offended won’t allow us to mend that fence.  They may still carry that hurt and offense. 

               It is so important for our spiritual lives and social relational lives to line up with one another.  We say we love and serve God, but do we most often work in our self-interest or the interest of others?  Are we willing to truly live Christ before men and especially toward the irregular people that most push our buttons and whom we have a hard time dealing with? 

               We are all like a bunch of rocks in stream.  As the turbulence of life and trials pass over us we rub against each other with our sharp edges, we offend and hurt each other.   Over time the ruff edges begin to wear off and instead of rough rocks we become smooth stones.  Are you still rough around the edges?  Are you still wearing on and irritating those around you?  It is often ironic how God can turn the tables to allow us to experience from others what we ourselves have been guilty of.  When we judge others, do we first judge ourselves and see how, we too, have been guilty of many of the same offenses?  All of this is a part of growing up and maturing in Christ.  The end of the matter is that if we are truly pursuing holiness with God as the Word says we should, that also reflects on our human relationships and how Christ comes out of us with regards to others.  Our fruits of actions, words and deeds should bear out who we are in Christ; by the way we treat and respond to others.  Colossians 3:17 exhorts us, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”  1John 3:18 likewise encourages and commands us, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”  Our actions speak louder than our words.  What have we promised our children or our spouse that we never follow through with?  Are we a people whose actions verify their words? 

               Sometimes we create offenses that we can’t fix or make right, ‘but as much as possible live peaceably with all men.’  Roman 12:16-21 leaves us with this instruction about our human relationships, “Be] of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” 

               Let’s be right and make things right as much as possible with others.  Let us really walk in love toward our neighbor and fellow human beings.  May they truly see Christ and not us.  This is pursuing holiness in the fear of God.

Blessings,

#kent

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