1 Peter 3:8-12
Seek peace and pursue it is the phrase from this passage that jumps out at me (v. 11). Peace is not a passive endeavor; it must be sought. It requires some energy! We have to build up our “peace muscles.” The easiest thing in the world is to snap back when someone snaps at me, to join in the gripe session about the boss or the annoying coworker, to share the hateful meme about people who vote differently from the way I do. It takes some muscle to respond to sharpness with kindness and understanding, to hold my tongue, to resist the urge to add to the babble of divisiveness.
Often, I think of peace in global terms. I think of world peace and freedom from war. I admire those who have made great sacrifices for us to live in peace. Peace on that scale is important. Those heroes of that peace are worthy of admiration; they are like the Olympic athletes of peace. I may never be called upon to pursue peace on the world-wide stage.
Still, even though I may never be an Olympian of peace, I want to keep strong and healthy. Keeping our muscles strong and flexible involves consistent exercise. For agile peacemakers, exercising compassion, sympathy, and humility is the fitness equivalent of doing sit-ups and jumping jacks. Our consistent exercise is important. Who knows when we might be called upon for something that requires more strength than we think we have.
Seek peace. Pursue it. Practice peace every day.
To this we are called.
What is your exercise routine when it comes to pursuing peace each day?
God, feeding wrath is a deadly temptation that you advise us not to practice. Help us seek peace instead, so that we will spend more of our time working out with you. Amen.