"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace among those with whom He is pleased."
It seems as if nearly all people, beauty pageant contestants not least among them, have a desire for world peace. For many of us, the mention of peace on earth may conjure images of nuclear disarmament and perhaps the end of violent conflict in the Middle East. Peace on earth, certainly, is a big deal. And yet, the Bible's idea of peace does not start with just stopping a civil war, or diplomatic negotiation of cease-fire in Israel. Rather, it starts in the minds and hearts of the people of God, those who please Him with their willingness to obey, producing an attitude of desire for an end of conflict at a personal level. "Blessed are the peacemakers," Jesus says in Matthew 5, "for they will be called sons of God." Desiring peace, and acting on that desire, is a family trait, an attribute that marks a person as belonging to God and having Him as a Father. In Romans 12, Paul directs his readers, "In as much as it depends on you, live at peace with all people, especially those who are of the family of believers." We are responsible for promoting peace in every area under our influence. Peace on earth begins with you and me.
Let us ask ourselves, "What in my heart, in my life, is a hindrance to true peace, a barrier to gracious love of my fellow human beings? What do I need to do to follow the commandments to become a peacemaker?" If we all genuinely sought to live with gentleness, humility, and love toward those in our lives, and they in turn reflected those qualities to others in their lives, and so forth, the Lord would transform the world in a very short time. Maybe work to bring peace to just one of your relationships this week. Let us know what happens as a result.