“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.
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! 🙂