Peace: God’s Definition

Last year we, my three ladies and I, started doing a family Bible study together.  We wanted to take time to discuss His Word in-depth.  It has been a blessing and encouragement to be able to see how He is truly working in my daughters lives and to see their spiritual growth.  Our first night together we began by discussing Pastor Larry’s message.  We went to Romans 12:9-21 to discuss our walk with the Lord.  As always, God parked me at a verse and it began to wrought my heart. 
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”  Rom 12:18
The word peace struck me.  Not on a global or civic level, but on the level of a family. When we, the Vivian family, are not at peace with one another, there becomes an uneasiness and awkwardness throughout the entire household.  All it takes is the selfishness of one and the stubbornness of another to make this conflict complete, and then peace seems elusive. 
So let’s define the word peace as it is translated from the Greek.  In verse 18 it means to be reconciled to or to bring into harmony.  Harmony: What a great picture word. Here’s the thing about harmony; it’s about listening to the other parts, the other singers.  If you want to sing in harmony, you have to be willing to listen to the other parts to blend and sing. And so it is also for those who are in harmony that they must maintain their pitch.  Noah Webster’s 1828 defines harmony as, “The just adaptation of parts to each other, in any system or composition of things, intended to form a connected whole. Accordance in facts; as the harmony of the gospels.” A group of singers will not succumb to the altered notes of one who is not in harmony. No, if Truth is what is being sought, then we all must maintain our obedience to His Word. We must not water down our harmony to pacify those in disharmony.  
Are you seeing the picture? Verse 18 teaches us that it is our responsibility to seek peace with all, “so far as it depends on you,” however; we are not to compromise His Truth.   We need to listen to the other involved to understand their perspective of the conflict.  We need to be willing to listen first. Many times in conflict, we as Christians become blame-shifters.  We have a Biblical responsibility to seek peace, seek harmony with our brother or sister we are in conflict with, while all the time seeking His guidance through prayer and obedience to the Word.
Can you see how a family is a good example of peace and harmony?  When one member is in conflict, it ripples out to the entire family and harmony becomes absent.  If the disharmony continues, it begins to ripple out even further; friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. 
I love how His Word can reveal so much in such simple truth. 
Let’s all take time to be at peace in our families first and then ripple that peace, that harmony, to all we encounter.  Don’t forget, peace begins with obedience to King Jesus.
A Growing Bond-Servant of the King~
Joe

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