If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
~ Romans 12:18 ~
Christmas is a time of peace. It is a time of coming together, of unity, of fellowship. Christmas is a time that we celebrate together in joy, love, and most of all, peace. Yet do we see peace in this world? It certainly does not seem like it. And sadly, there is often much strife in the Church. Dear Christians, are we living a life that Christ called us to? Are we building each other up and encouraging one another? (1 Thes. 5:11, Heb. 3:13) Or are we tearing each other apart over the little, nit-picky things that display discord and hatred to those looking at the Church?
Recently, when I have been on social media, I have seen a lot more of the later than the former. Even towards other Christians, Christians are belittling, shunning, maligning, and causing dissension, and in front of the world! It is not that we are perfect, nor that there isn’t a time to rebuke; we are being made holy and have been justified freely by God’s grace. But where is the grace shown to the brother in Christ? Where are those going to their brother privately to correct and rebuke? Where is forgiveness and love?
There is little wonder why we are looked at with disdain and distance by the world. We are called to be a holy people, yet we often act in more awful ways than the world, and this when we know what is right. This is to our shame. No, we are not looking for the love of the world, but how are we to love them if we are indistinguishable? How are we to love them when they see no love in us towards our brethren?
Our love for one another must be sincere (Rom. 12:9-18). How can we count it good to suffer the mockery of the world if we are rightly being mocked? (1 Pet. 2:19-21) Our example is supposed to be Christ. It is only by following His teachings and showing others His love that our deeds might show the light of Christ and bring other to praise God (Matt. 5:16). Let us learn to be patient with one another and show kindness to the family of believers, showing that we are united body of Christ, united in His love, showing forgiveness, mercy, and peace to all around us (Eph. 4:1-6). Let us strive to build each other up and show each other the same grace that God first showed us (1 Jhn. 4:19). This doesn’t mean that everything is going to always be fine, or that we will always agree, or that anything goes. There is a time and a place for correction. But we are called to love and share the Gospel, the good news. Christians need to hear that same word of encouragement as do those who are not Christians. We are united in Christ. Let us live at peace with all men.
Peace be with you all,