The Edifier

West Allen Church of Christ

The Edifier Index

Peace Is Fragile

Jim Everett

Life is Fragile" so the bumper sticker says and it reminded me that oneís health can suddenly be lost or oneís life snuffed out by careless†disregard for the preciousness of life. Recent tension between the U.S. and China over the spy plane and downed Chinese pilot made me conscious of something else "Peace is fragile." And the fruitcake" who nearly takes off my front fender by butting in front of me so he can get one car length farther down the road has total disregard for the both the fragileness of life and peace. Thinking about how fragile both life and peace are should make us aware of the need to be careful about how we drive and also how we treat other people. The preservation of lives and making peace do not accidentally happen. They both require that people be thoughtful, considerate and unselfish.

To seek peace with "The God of Peace" is a noble aspiration but that also requires thought and effort. God is called the "God of Peace" because†He has made peace possible with man (Romans 15:33; 16:20; Philippians 4:9; 1 Thess 5:23; Hebrews 13:20). And, Jesus was called the "Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6), because He is the means by which we can have peace with God. Jesus, Himself, pronounces Heavenís approval upon the peacemakers (Matthew 5:9) -- blessed are those who help men to come to peace with Heaven.

James did not accidentally put the phrase "first pure" before the word "peaceable," (James 3:15-18). The order has significance purity of truth always precedes peace and true peace cannot come by sacrificing purity. It is the compromise with error that disrupts the peace between God and man,because manís relationship with God is based on truth (John 8:31-32; 1 John 1:6-7).

When Jesus said, "I came not to send peace but a sword," it was not an expression of what He wanted but an awareness of the effect of preaching† truth to those who do not want truth (Luke 12:51). The paradoxical observation that He came to bring peace but He did not come to bring peace, can be understood only in that He came to bring peace but there will always be war between truth and error, righteousness and evil. Godís will is that all men would be saved (1 Timothy 2:4-6) but most resist Godís offer of peace. The strongest and most painful conflicts come from those who are the closest to us husbands, wives, children, friends the ones whom we love the most can become our worst enemies. And yet, there is a† peace that we can have in the midst of conflict (Philippians 4:6-9). It is a state of mind that comes from an awareness of being right with Heaven.

"Make peace, not war," was a common slogan of the "hippie" generation that created not peace, but turmoil and division in the nation itself. The peace they promoted and pursued was an escape from reality drugs, promiscuity, selfish indulgence with no thought of responsibility. But there†is a very real sense in which God says, "make peace." We must work at peace "follow after the things " (Romans 14:19); "endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3); "follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace (2 Timothy 2:22); "let him seek peace and ensue it," (1 Peter 3:11). Ignorance, negligence or selfish ambition can destroy peace in a congregation the results are, in every instance, just as devastating. Sometimes, Christians do not look to the end results of their behavior and pursue a course that genders strife and confusion. It is far better to learn from Godís instruction than to realize, after the fact, that peace has been sacrificed at the altar of pride.

Peace is no accident -- it cost God His Son. It requires of us an unselfish, persistent effort. If we are not careful, it can easily be lost and only with†great difficulty regained.