When a man’s ways please the Lord,
he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
We are quick to assert that being obedient to the Lord will bring persecution by the world. Certainly there is much truth to that. But it is also true that pleasing the Lord leads to peace. Christ commands us to love our neighbor, even to love our enemy. He commands us to turn the other cheek, to give freely to those who would take. He commands us to bless our enemies and not to respond to evil with evil. Such pleasing ways would bring much peace.
We would win peace if we reacted to hostility from our own status of having peace with God; we would win peace if we spoke and acted out of the grace that God has shown us. We would win peace if we shared the heart of God for the souls of others. Consider the peace with our neighbors if we made their welfare our concern, if we strove to be good neighbors to everyone.
If we are honest with ourselves, much of our so-called persecution is the result of our own self-righteousness. Much of our so-called righteous anger has more to do with feeling personally offended. If we acted with patience and wisdom, and not out of stress or defensiveness, consider the peace to which we could win many of God’s enemies to the gospel.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2021 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org