“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification,” Romans 14:19 NIV.
In this verse, Paul was speaking to Christians who were debating dietary restrictions. Paul saw their argument as insignificant, teaching them instead that God’s kingdom is more than food or drink and is of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
How many times do we get bogged down in nonsense? Sometimes we are so determined to be right that we fail to realize when an argument is irrelevant to what’s really going on!
We often get caught up in details (or distractions) and fail to see the bigger picture. Paul teaches that we should make every effort to be peaceful and do what leads to “mutual edification.” We are implored to build one another up, not tear each other down.
We can surely go to extremes to prove a point or have the last word but is that really satisfying?
Are you drawing people near to God with a peaceful demeanor, loving actions and kind words? Or do you drive people away with a compulsion to prove them wrong? Are you reluctant to even listen to what others have to say, let alone respect their opinion?
Master the art of silence. We don’t always agree with everyone but should we really jump on every opportunity to voice our disagreement? Are our words helpful? Can they change the situation? Do we choose to exploit the faults of others so we can feel better about ourselves?
Sometimes what we don’t say is more significant than what we do say. When we choose not to condemn, criticize or gossip we perpetuate peace, not chaos.
“Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body, It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell,” James 3:5-6 NIV.
Every situation does not need our commentary. How often can we reflect God’s love by keeping quiet? Instead of commenting on what other people do, what if we pray for them? How about we focus on our flaws instead of magnifying those of others?
Can you find common ground with people and build upon it? Can you choose relationships over “religion?” God commands us to love Him and our brothers and sisters.
It is easy to love God. Loving some of my brothers and sisters is indeed much harder. “My command is this; Love each other as I have loved you,” John 15:12 NIV.
“As I have loved you.” Jesus showed compassion for people. Jesus forgave the very people crucifying Him and prayed for them. Jesus didn’t cast stones. Jesus met people right where they were, imperfections and all. It isn’t always easy to love like Jesus.
But, shouldn’t we at least try?
“Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God,” Matthew 5:9 KJV
***And if you thought I forgot, here are my nominees for the Inner Peace Award. These blogs provoke inner peace when I read them or the author exudes inner peace on the site.
Chronic Conditions and Life Lessons
Osborne2029 (just found this one!)
I am very aware that not everyone has the same opinions when it comes to these awards. If you don’t participate, I’m not offended. I often nominate sites I suspect won’t “accept” but feel many of my readers will connect with. So to those nominated, no pressure!
I have found some of my favorite blogs in this manner and I’m very grateful for readers who have found my site and enjoy as well.
Have a great week and B Blessed! 🙂
“Are you drawing people near to God with a peaceful demeanor, loving actions and kind words? Or do you drive people away with a compulsion to prove them wrong? Are you reluctant to even listen to what others have to say, let alone respect their opinion?”
Your wisdom sis is spot on! Keep writing for God is using you in a powerful way!
Thanks so much for the encouraging words and for stopping by Lionel. I’m preaching to myself in addition to those who would have ears to hear.
B Blessed! Lilka
Thanks Lilka, you echoe true wisdom and guidance for the believer. This is well said; “Every situation does not need our commentary”. May we evaluate others from the platform of grace.
Have a graceful week
You too! Blessings and Peace to you.
Lilka, thank you for the award nomination! This is so very nice. What’s even better is that you find peace and comfort in the things you find on my site. God provides the motivation for what I write, as I’m sure He does for your writings…
Congrats on the latest of your awards, it is well deserved. You inspire so many people!
Your site is wonderful! On top of that you selflessly put other bloggers before your audience. We actually follow a lot of the same writers.
God does motivate my writing. I think I’m going to write on one topic and its something else all together. 🙂
Excellent post Lilka in so many ways. I’m also looking forward to checking out your nominees. As with you, I’ve made many wonderful blogging friends through the giving and receiving of awards… 😉
Thanks as always for your feedback Sherri. I am really trying to focus on my mouth at this time. Sometimes we are so close to a breakthrough and it is the little things that keep us from our best. I am slowly working through the awards trying not to overwhelm readers with them so I’m mixing them in between my regular posts. I haven’t even started on the awards for the autism site! Hopefully I can get at least one of them done tomorrow before cobwebs start growing across that site! :0 Peace and my best to you!
I desperately needed to hear this today!
It reminds me of James 3:8-13:8 But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God;10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. 11 Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water?12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh.13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.
Good deeds and gentleness – what a mission worth striving for!
I very much appreciate your ‘Inner Peace Award’ nomination – all Glory to God! May He continue to bless and comfort all of us with His peace.
God bless you.
Jennifer – I Give God All The Glory
You are very deserving. I preach/speak to myself as always. I was very much aware today of thing I felt compelled to say but had judgement (today) not to say. Every day is another battle but it is something I am always trying to improve on. Every now and then I need to refocus myself in this direction.
A man said once that criticism should be reserved solely for situations where a person is in danger of hurting themselves or another…in other news…
… I’m having difficulty knowing what to do here lately. Maybe you can help. If you’ve read my posts you know that my ex-husband and his wife say things to my daughters that influence them to have a negative image of me. This is called parental alienation. And of course my daughters have learned to be disrespectful and to run from verbal correction when confronted. Here lately my daughters are disrespectful and mildly verbally abusive toward me every time I see them, but it does me no good to talk about it with them because they dismiss it and then refuse to see me for a week or weeks at a time. And I can’t rely on my ex-husband or his wife to help me help them understand why willful disrespect is socially acceptable behavior. In fact, they are the primary role models for teaching my daughters’ disrespectful behavior through their daily actions. My problem is trying to decide if I should just stay away from my daughters because our interactions inevitably are not positive and the confrontations paired with the negative reinforcement of my ex and his wife is driving a wedge in the relationship between me and my daughters.
That is quite a problem. You are going to have to decide if you are willing to put up with disrespectful behavior in order to spend time with your daughters or if you are willing to take a very hard stand, demand respect and not see them if they aren’t willing to live by your rules.
I’m no expert by any means but generally kids will get away with whatever they can. They are also smart enough to amend their behavior according to circumstances and people.
From your posts, your ex and his wife are hardly the best role models. The girls are not going to learn how destructive their behavior is from them. They probably aren’t going to really take heed from you. What they may do in time is see how this same disrespectful behavior alienates them from other people and once they experience the consequences (and gain some maturity) will realize that you know what you’re talking about and respect you for forcing them to respect you.
I know this is very much easier said than done and takes a lot of work and grief on your part but it is a harder road that may have a greater payoff later.
Constantly battling with them and against your ex and his wife probably isn’t going to come to any positive resolution as long as the girls are living with him. Just some food for thought. And I by no means think you’ve got an easy road ahead of you if you just pick the right path. Parenting is a marathon and not a sprint. Some of those miles are really hard, up steep hills and through the rain.
That’s what happened the other day. My daughter told me that I was going to pick her up and take her to the animal shelter to meet her friend and that I needed to charge her phone…which I had just bought for her but she’s not allowed to use it in her dad’s house, because I bought it for her.
I had already made plans two days prior to volunteer for a church organization on that day. I told her I could only pick her up a certain time. She got angry and hung up on me. When I picked her up she was verbally disrespectful so I told her that the natural consequences of her disrespectful choice was that I would not be taking her to the animal shelter and that she would have to tell her father why I was not taking her and why he would have to take her…since it was for a school project.
Later I went to pick up my other daughter…who had told me she did not want to go with me at the time I went to pick her up, but that I should pick her up later…and she decided that she was going to be angry with me for not letting my other daughter be disrespectful. She told me that she did not want to visit with me and that my other daughter never wanted to see me again. Then she smiled and said, “bye.” I think the next time they ask me to do something for them I’m going to tell them that as a requirement they are going to have to sit down and discuss with me why their actions and words were disrespectful and then they will have to write a report on the subject; only then will I do anything else for them.
I think the girls think they know how to manipulate you. I have found that doing the unexpected makes more of an impact with my kids. This may mean some time away from them so they can appreciate all that you do for them.
If they are always used to getting a “yes” from you when they need something, it may be time to give them a “no.” Without any explanation. They seem like smart girls, it won’t take them long to figure out bad behavior does not merit rewards from you. They may adjust their behavior ( after a bit of time and discontent) accordingly, thereafter. Just something to think about.
I will start saying, “no” without any explanation.
Thank you for your guidance.
Anytime! I’m hardly an expert by any means I can only give you what has worked for me. 🙂
Lilka – thank you. Wise words. Gentle words. Silent words of power.
And more new connections (with a copy/paste here from one) “I am so happy God has led us to one another.” Amen!!
Me too! Your posts make me think deeper and try harder. Have a wonderful week!