It’s hard to be the peacemaker sometimes. A lot of times. Being the peacemaker often takes resisting our pride and entitlement to be upset for whatever reason. Especially when someone else has inflicted some type of wrongdoing upon us, or slighted us in some way. But the minute something tugs at our hearts, and we know the air is salty between us and another individual, we have to pursue peace with them.
The Bible is like a supersonic flashlight. It has a way of digging into a crevice we didn’t know was there, and flooding light into that place to show what’s really going on. You cannot argue with light. What it says is there is there, and there’s no denying it. It’s like walking into a completely dark house that is bathed in the most heavenly fragrance. You can smell lavender, freesia, amber, and jasmine, but then when the lights come on… there are holes in the walls, floorboards missing, rusted appliances, and raggedy furniture cluttering the place. How great it smelled in the dark means nothing when the house is a mess. So it is with us.
Harboring unforgiveness and bitterness, and refusing to seek peace with someone we are at odds with dirties our hearts. The longer we hold it in and tuck it away the more it festers and mildews the soul. Even when we no longer acknowledge it. If it hasn’t been given to Jesus for His divine instruction on how to deal with it, it is just buried alive.
Peace and forgiveness go hand in hand. The Lord told the disciples that God would forgive them in the same way they forgive others. We really have to think about that. When we run to God for help and benevolence and forgiveness He essentially asks, “How quick are you to forgive? How willing are you to help? Who have you shut out and cut off?”
For those who truly abide in Christ, you cannot silence the voice of the Holy Spirit. It is He Who deeply grieves when His children are fragmented and in conflict. As redeemed souls bought with a price, we are not above Jesus in anything. We do not have a right to unforgiveness. The very salvation we rest our lives on is built on forgiveness. How can we tell the One who saved us, “No. I won’t forgive.” What if God said that to us the next time we prayed?
“Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” – Romans 12:17-18