Where is Peace? There is spirit of division in the air. In every arena of life it seems that hostility is raging.
The powers of the world are teetering on the edge of conflict and technology has made it more vocal than ever. It seems that rage and anger are the spirits of the day.
It’s hard to even get decent news coverage anymore. The broadcast voices have all taken up sides and each program is their latest and sharpest attack on the other. Entertainment is filled with hostility. Awards shows that used to be speeches of gratitude to God and Grandma are now used as an opportunity to stir up hostility towards people and policies that we despise.
Sports was at one time a place where we could get away from the craziness of the world and unite around our favorite logo. Now the spirit of anger and division has entered this arena. From protesting the anthem, to the private lives of our heroes there is an abundance of anger and division. Last week in one issue of USA TODAY there were 7 stories on the sports page of violence on and off the field, from children’s sports to the pros.
And we all feel it. Our social media feeds display our own level of angst. We live with a sense of anxiety over the condition of our world. It has entered our homes, our places of business and penetrated our lives at every level.
So where is Peace? Humanism says humanity is on a path of evolution. Modern culture is pushing towards equality like never before and yet it seems that our “progress” has only elevated the self-centered nature of mankind and the product is more and more division among us.
The reality is that there is no peace without the source of peace. In our humanistic pursuits of harmony we have evicted the “Prince of Peace” from our lives. Our world is now reaping the results of living without the one who alone has the power to heal, restore and unite.
Hostility with one another is the guaranteed outcome of hostility with God. Whenever we try to live in our own human strength we always end up in self-centered pursuits which place us at odds with others.
As Christians we are called to be agents of peace. 2 Cor. 5:18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; The first step in knowing and living a peaceful life is to be reconciled to God our creator through Christ. Then as believers we are to work to bring the world into this same experience of peace with God.
As Christians we are called and empowered by the Holy Spirit to live out practically a life of peace. Romans 12:14-21 literally gives us the practical application of a life of Peace.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
The world is living in exact opposite to these powerful words and we are suffering the consequences of our neglect.
If you consider yourself a follower of Jesus let this passage be your rule and guide everyday. Start blessing your enemies and stop cursing them. Empathize with people in good times and bad. Refuse to take every opportunity to disagree. Embrace humility, do not return evil for evil, resist the temptation to avenge yourself, do every good thing you can possibly do to our enemy and as much as it depends on you live peaceably with everyone! This would change the world.
So let’s all begin today to put this world back together, start by ensuring you are reconciled to God, then get up and determine to change the spirit of this hostile world by living out the timeless truths found in God’s word.
In the words of Harry Connick Jr. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me!