Live in peace with each other. (1 Thess. 5:13)

In elementary school, two of my very best friends got into a fist fight with each other. I remember intervening and one of my friends inadvertently punched me in the face. I ran home with tears running down my cheeks. As I ran into our kitchen, my mom knelt to dry my tears and ask where I was hurt. I remember being so surprised and saying, “Mom, I’m not crying because I got hurt. I’m crying because my friends are fighting.” What my mom said next has never left me. She said, “God has made you to be a peacemaker.” She was right. It is my nature to help others around me.

But the responsibility to help heal and reconcile is not unique only to those who are called to be pastors. It is the God-given responsibility of all Christ-followers to be peacemakers (see Matt. 5:9) and to do our best to restore peace and harmony where there is presently conflict and misunderstanding. And, not only are we to be brokers of peace between warring factions, but we are also to aim to live in peaceful relationships with one another.

Elsewhere in the Bible, we are instructed to live in peace with one another, as much as it depends upon us (see Rom. 12:18). The psalmist was right when he said, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity” (Ps. 133:1).

Look for ways to restore peace in your relationships.

Stephen Elliott serves as national superintendent of The Wesleyan Church of Canada and part-time teacher at Kingswood University. He is a happy grandfather of four girls.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.