This week's memory verse:
"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Ok...so I have ALWAYS been the peacemaker. I hate to see people fighting and arguing...if at all possible, I try to help people around me see the other side. "Can't we all just get along????" That sounds like a trite old saying, but I truly wish it were true. Why CAN'T we just get along with each other?
It is normal and natural for us to have disagreements...we each think our ways and our thoughts are the RIGHT way, and we get upset when others don't agree. We WANT unity...we want harmony...well at least MOST of us do. LOL But we also are sometimes more willing to throw away friendships, family relationships, and working relationships just because someone else's thinking is different from our own. I have seen this too many times to mention.
Even Paul in the Bible had disagreements with other people in the early church. He and Barnabus disagreed so badly that they parted company for a while. (Acts 15:37)
But, the Bible is also FULL of instruction on how and why to get along with people. Our Bible study book keeps using saying that we need to get along with other believers...I believe we need to get along, or at least make efforts to get along with EVERYONE, not just exclusively believers. Read the following verses:
Leviticus 19:18 - ...love your neighbor as yourself
Galatians 5:13 - ...serve on another humbly in love
Ephesians 4:2 - ...be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love Colossians- ...love binds everything together
James 1:19 - Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger (How many of us need THIS verse on a daily basis????)
1 Peter 2:17 - show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor (how many "Christians" don't show respect to our president because they don't like his politics? Shouldn't we honor and respect him, even though we don't agree with him BECAUSE he IS our leader? Sorry...a bit of soap boxing...I'll step down now)
1 Peter 3:8 - be like minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply because love covers a multitude of sins.
Jesus said, "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
I don't think we need to let people walk all over us and be meek and like mice. We need to speak our minds and stand for our principles and beliefs...but there is a way to do that RESPECTFULLY!
If we want a more peaceful world...if we want more peace in our own lives...we need to use these verses as teaching guides and LISTEN AND HEED to their advice. God wants us to live in harmony with each other. God also knows there are bound to be conflicts and disagreements in our lives. But, if the Bible is an instruction manual, given to us by a loving God who wants to teach us...then we should listen to the advice given there.
While I also have conflicts and disagreements with people, I am also just naturally a peace maker...I want people around me to be happy and get along. This getting along stuff comes easier to me. But I know it doesn't come easier to all. Try seeing the other side of an argument...try to see someone else's point of view. Treat EVERYONE, even people you don't like, don't trust, don't even want around you...treat them with respect and love. That doesn't mean you have to hug them and sing "Kumbyah" with them. Just treat them as you want to be treated. Yes, that old "Golden Rule" works for adults too!