Pursue Harmony With All People

July 30, 2014

Friends,
God’s Word commands us to seek peace with everyone –to pursue it, strive for it, and do our best to achieve it. (Rom. 14:19 // Heb. 12:14 // 1 Peter 3:11) We are to follow after the way of peace by doing and speaking those things which edify, encourage, and benefit others (Rom. 14:19 // Eph. 4:29), working to please not ourselves but them, while in gentleness, in humble Christ-likeness, and with consideration concerning what is appropriate, build them up. (Rom. 15:1,2 // 1 Cor. 10:33 // Phil. 2:1-8)

Our speech should be seasoned with salt in that we present the Truth wisely and graciously, and as that which is favorable and beneficial. (Col. 4:6) This means that even if we must rebuke someone, we are to do so as courteously as possible, seeking their good, not our own. (1 Cor. 10:24) Living in harmony with all people is our goal (1 Peter 3:8), but this is achieved only as we conduct ourselves with sympathy, love, and unassertiveness (same verse), and as we refuse to retaliate, but instead to bless. (v. 9) Of course if we are repeatedly rebuffed or mistreated, then the most peaceful thing to do is to politely end that relationship.

Scripture’s commands about pursuing harmony does not mean, however, that we should neglect to expose wrong-doing and false doctrine. We should (Eph. 5:11), but only as we “speak the truth in love.” (4:15) This means we do so void of selfish ambition and arrogance (Phil. 2:3), and that we are always very careful to treat others as better than ourselves (same verse) while considering, in humility and sensitivity, their level of faith. (v. 4 // Rom. ch. 14 // Gal. 6:1)

Who of us would not like to see good days? (1 Peter 3:10) Then we must keep our speech and our actions wise, controlled, edifying, and error-free. (same verse // Eph. 4:29 // Ja. ch. 3) In this way we are truly striving to live in peace and harmony with all people (Rom. 14:19 // Heb. 12:14 // 1 Peter 3:11) and are thereby proving ourselves to be the children of God. (Mt. 5:9)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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