Pursue Peace With All Men
We sometimes find ourselves under undue pressure and this makes us behave so out of character. We fall out of peace with our neighbours, our colleagues, our friends and our families. Sometimes, we even fall out of peace with strangers and this may embarrass us or cause our spirit to be grieved.
Countless times I have fallen out of peace with people who are close to me and with the help of the Holy Spirit, I have been able to quickly realise the errors of my ways and corrected my mistakes. I have apologised for my mistakes with the people I fell out of peace with and consequently asked God for the forgiveness of my sins. This is what we are called into as Christians – a life of peace with all men. “Pursue peace with all men (Hebrews 12:14)”.
When you are wrong, do not put up a wall and sweep the act under the carpet but repent of your sins before God and reconcile your differences with your neighbours, your friends, your family, your acquaintance or even with that stranger. Also when you are in the right, do not act all saintly and almighty, nobody is perfect. Instead of being rigid and staying on your right, remember the blood of Jesus that was shed for all humanity and the forgiveness of your personal sins, forgive that person, reach out to them and reconcile. This is what we are called into – a life of reconciliation with God.
Despite your stance on that situation, approach it with peace in mind. Do not think about your interest rather think about the best way to advance the kingdom of God. No matter how difficult the situation is, be the light, be the salt, be the solution and bring peace with you. This, in essence, means let go of your ego, make necessary sacrifices at every opportunity, swallow your pride and ride on God’s wings of justice, let God fight your battles for you.
Not in my wildest dream would I ever thought I would offend a friend so much so that she would tell me she no longer wants to be friends with me. But it happened. That situation broke me. I went home for days, cried and then prayed about it all. But I didn’t stop there, I chose to forgive the hurt my friend had caused me. Even though she chose not to be my friend anymore, I chose to make myself available to her as a friend. I continued to be myself around her and I offered to help whenever needed. Thankfully the strain between us was lifted.
One of the greatest ways to shut down the enemies is by offering peace when they expect a fight back. When the enemy accuses you and tries to attack your personality, pray for them. Don’t fight back. Don’t try to explain yourself. Don’t try to justify your actions. Sincerely apologise and take your case to God. He is the one who will fight your battle for you, let him do it. This is what it means to pursue peace with all men; to live a life of selflessness, to not consider your own feelings nor remain adamant on your rights, to render an apology first even when you are right and the other person refuses to apologise.
When you have a valid cause of complaint and you are feeling justified by your actions, put aside your rightness and win that battle with humility and your obedience to God’s commandment will earn you a great reward; the Bible says ” Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9). When you make peace with others your priority, you are blessed and you shall be called a child of God. But when you respond word for word, when you slide the issue under the carpet for an act of revenge or when you start to keep malice with the offender, you are not being a child of God, instead, you are putting yourself up for strife, anger or violence.
A child of God must respond to offence exceptionally. Jesus Christ said; “Therefore if you are offering your gift at the altar and remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar. First, go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift”(Matthew 5:23-24). Prayer may be the master key to talking to God, forgiveness may be key to God in answering prayers but making your peace with others is definitely the key to God listening to your prayers.
Perhaps you are struggling with making peace with others, the following Bible Declarations have been compiled to help you. May the spoken word of God renew your mind to a state of peace even as you meditate on the word, speak it into existence and pray it through into your life in Jesus name.
Make a Declaration of Faith
I bless God for the peace that comes only from him. Without Christ, in our lives, there will be no peace in the world. I declare that I am a peacemaker through the prince of peace who enables me to become one.
I am a child of God. I am a peacemaker. Through Jesus Christ, I express peace unto others at all times. The Prince of Peace is my lord and saviour. He enables me to be at peace with all men. He empowers me to proclaim peace to all men and he equips me with his peace that passes all understanding.
I bring peace to the world around me. Even in the midst of problems, I will do the works of God in bringing peace to all men as he commanded.
I am a peacemaker in the world through Christ who paid the price for my peace (Isaiah 53:5).
Today I choose peace over problems. I will follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. I will pursue and live in peace with all men. I will make every effort to live in holiness without which no one can see God. And henceforth I shall be called a son of God (Isaiah 9:6, 1 Peter 3:11, Colossians 3:15, Matthew 5:9, Hebrews 12:14).
As far as God gives me grace, I will live at peace with everyone not taking revenge where I have been hurt but surrendering all to God and allowing him to repay all as he deems fit. Henceforth, I will make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification of others. I will not repay anyone evil for evil. I will be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone with the help of God who lives sovereign over all (Romans 12:17-21, Romans 14:19)