14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. 15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. Hebrews 12:14-15 NIV
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Romans 12:18 ESV
When I was growing up, I had several traumatic experiences. NO, it WASN’T my parents!! I had and have wonderful parents!! These experiences came just from living in a fallen world. I did not know how to cope so I had a very rough exterior when I married my husband. I remember thinking, “I am married, I am in control of my life and no one will ever walk all over me again!” I developed a very sharp tongue. I could put someone in “their place” quickly and with great ease! I had been told many times by various people who knew me and those who did not I should have been a lawyer. What had I done when I said those words? I opened a door for satan to bring a tongue ladened with unkindness, sarcasm, sharpness, and bitterness! I had no idea what I had done!
One day at a prayer meeting a lady taught on unforgiveness. I was soooo convicted! I bowed my head as I listened to her say to let it go. She talked about how God wanted me to walk in love and that He loved me! I repented before she ever got the chance to pray for me or even lay hands on me and I was delivered instantly!! I knew when it happened because I could tell I was different! The first thing that changed was the way I saw people. The second thing that changed was my mouth! I didn’t want to “put people in their place” anymore! I wanted to show love and kindness. I no longer saw people as full of potential to hurt me, but I saw them as my potential to bless! God made my mouth His instrument to exhort, not to tear down. I had an inner peace that is indescribable, BUT there were still others that had not had this experience. There were still people in the world that were rude, who would try to take advantage of my new kindness, and those that still rejected me coldly because they were infected with the same poison I had been tricked into drinking!
God began to show me, instead of letting someone “have it” so to speak with my mouth, my words could bring peace instead of controversy. My words can actually heal, aid, cheer the weary on and bring peace and harmony to others. It is the other side of a double-edged sword. I can bring hurt or I can bring help!
Peace is work! God said in our scripture, “14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. 15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.” Hebrews 12:14-15 NIV I love where He says to look after one another so that NONE fails to receive the grace of God, watching out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows to trouble or corrupt many! What does this mean? It means that with bitterness, which is a poison, there is no peace. That we are to look out for one another in love and to “keep the peace”! Peace can just fall on you so to speak, but most of the time it is work on our part to keep it in place in our lives! What is amazing is a work of peace will bring a work of living a holy life! We concentrate too much on sin! God wants us to concentrate on loving, bringing peace where there is trouble, and holiness will follow!
Our second verse says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Notice it says, “IF POSSIBLE”. Sadly, some will never walk in love toward you. They will never let ANYTHING go, whether a real or imagined hurt. They have let the enemy, perhaps unknowingly, bring bitterness and offense into their lives. There is nothing you can do about them, but you can control you! When you see peace will not come, at that point you have to turn them over to God and ask Him what YOUR next step is to be. Whatever it is, maintain your peace with yourself, God, and as much as you can with man. How sad they had a jewel in their midst and failed to recognize your worth! They lost precious opportunities in knowing you! God brought you to them to bring great good and in rejecting you they rejected Him and His blessing! Though they refused peace, because of your gentleness and continuing love, God will lead, guide, and protect you and the blessing will fall mightily on you! Don’t forget “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9 NLV
Have a blessed and peace filled day, my precious reader!! I appreciate you so much! I will see you next time!