November 25 – Hebrews 12:14-17. Make Peace.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

November 25 – Hebrews 12:14-17. Make Peace.

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done.

At least the author of Hebrews knew that it would be difficult for us to live in peace with everyone and to be holy.  He didn’t tell us that it was do so or die, he simply said, “Make every effort …” and so we must.

What are some ways that you make every effort to live in peace?

My mother abhorred outward violence.  I suspect that part of her reason for hating it so much was her realization that it rarely brought about anything but more violence and destruction.  She’d grown up as an only child and hadn’t experienced anything like a normal family.  Her children were NOT going to ever strike each other.  She and Dad did spank us from time to time, but we weren’t allowed to react in violence to each other.

I think one of her defining moments was early in her marriage.  None of us were old enough to have witnessed it, but I have the rocking chair she threw across the room at Dad when she was furious with him.  The only thing that happened was she broke the chair.  I suspect Dad laughed at her ineffective attempt at hurting him.  She had also tried to throw a toaster at him, but it was plugged in and dangled in the air harmlessly as she realized what foolish decisions she was making.  She had to fix the chair and apologize to Dad for her anger.  She had to clean the toast crumbs up off the floor and apologize to him again.  That was the last of her violence.  Dad just wasn’t going to put up with it.

Living in peace isn’t easy.  Surprisingly enough, as much as we want to live in peace with each other, we tend to make things difficult ourselves.  I’ve been known to provoke an argument or two in my life just for the heck of it.

As much as God wants us to be in relationship with Him, He wants us to be in relationship with each other.  We should treat each other with grace, we should live in peace.  It’s not an easy task, but sometimes God calls us to do difficult things.