#ThinkingTuesday – Change your thinking; Change your life.
In our inaugural post of the year, we examined the first four of 12 instructions given to us this year. We’ve decided to implement these instructions by on one of them each month. For February, the instruction from our original passage, I Thessalonians 5:12 – 13 is to:
LIVE IN PEACE WITH EACH OTHER
The excerpt from the inaugural post reads:
We have to be at peace amongst ourselves. This instruction applies to maintaining peace between the leaders and their flock and ensuring the absence of rivalry amongst the flock. We must treat everyone equally regardless of gender or social status and at the same time, we must avoid envy or jealousy regarding a “favourite minister” in order not to create competition amongst our leaders. It is to our advantage when we create a peaceful environment for our leaders to work because it allows us to reap the fruits of their labour of love over our souls.
See also (1 Corinthians 1:12).
Peace isn’t just about not having any conflict with others, its also about the inner calmness we feel when God fills us with His peace. Here are 15 scriptures which speak of peace and the key points from them, which tell us the things we can do to be at peace (before God and within ourselves) as well as how to live in peace with everyone.
1. Holiness = Peace.
Try to live in peace with everyone. And try to keep your lives free from sin. Anyone whose life is not holy will never see the Lord.
We are at peace with God when we keep our lives free from sin. A lifestyle of holiness is a lifestyle of peace! No more needs to be said.
2. Watch Your Tongue
Tell them not to speak evil of anyone but to live in peace with others. They should be gentle and polite to everyone.
We can live in peace with others by avoiding quarrels caused through slander. Watch your tongue!
3. Obey The Holy Spirit
But the fruit that the Spirit produces in a person’s life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness
Living in peace with others cannot be done without the help of the Holy Spirit. He alone can produce the real fruit of peace in us and we must obey His guidance when it comes to handling conflicts with others.
4. Fellowship With Like-Minded People.
Stay away from the evil things a young person like you typically wants to do. Do your best to live right and to have faith, love, and peace, together with others who trust in the Lord with pure hearts.
We will find that our lives will be filled with peace when we fellowship with like-minded people who engage in right living and pursue a peaceful lifestyle.
5. Exercise Godly Wisdom
But the wisdom that comes from God is like this: First, it is pure. It is also peaceful, gentle, and easy to please. This wisdom is always ready to help people who have trouble and to do good for others. This wisdom is always fair and honest. People who work for peace in a peaceful way get the blessings that come from right living.
Living in peace with others means exercising godly wisdom, which is peaceful and always ready to help others. When you live at peace with others, you will reap a harvest of righteousness.
6. Think Peace.
Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking. It is for peace that you were chosen to be together in one body. And always be thankful.
A healthy body begins with a mindset of peace. If we are going to live in peace, the peace of Christ must control our thinking. Renew your mind daily with His peace. Especially when it concerns the body of Christ, the church. We should not be divisive in the body. If the foot started a fight with the mouth, all the body would suffer! Endeavour to let the peace of Christ rule your mind, so that it may rule your body.
7. Hold Fast To Peace.
You are joined together with peace through the Spirit. Do all you can to continue as you are, letting peace hold you together.
Living a lifestyle of peace means letting peace hold you together through every situation. Upon salvation, we are joined together with peace through the Holy Spirit and we must continue in this manner. Once we think peace, we must hold fast to that thought. Hold fast to your thoughts of peace and let them guide you through the storms of life.
8. Mind Your Business.
Do all you can to live a peaceful life. Mind your own business, and earn your own living, as we told you before.
One way to do all we can to live a peaceful life is to mind our own business. We will find that life is far more peaceful when we tend to the things that concern us rather than poke-nosing into and gossiping about the affairs of others. This does not mean that we should not be good samaritans when the need arises, but that we should stay clear of things that do not concern us and will only lead us into sin.
9. Let Go Of Offences.
“So, what if you are offering your gift at the altar and remember that someone has something against you? Leave your gift there and go make peace with that person. Then come and offer your gift.
We cultivate a peaceful lifestyle by resolving conflict with others before coming into the presence of God. We must not carry malice into His presence. Instead, we ought to come with a heart of praise and thankfulness. We work to live at peace with others by practising the principle of unilateral forgiveness, i.e. forgiving others before they ask for it. We must not go around expecting people to be aware they have offended us and need to come begging for forgiveness. One mark of a mature Christian is the ability to forgive those who are not even aware they need forgiveness! So stay peaceful by cultivating the habit of being a forgiving person who lets go of offences quickly and easily!
All this is from God. Through Christ, God made peace between himself and us. And God gave us the work of bringing people into peace with him. I mean that God was in Christ, making peace between the world and himself.
In Christ, God did not hold people guilty of their sins. And he gave us this message of peace to tell people. So we have been sent to speak for Christ. It is like God is calling to people through us. We speak for Christ when we beg you to be at peace with God.
We live in peace with God by carrying out the work of bringing people into peace with Him, through evangelism i.e. preaching the gospel of peace. This is known as the ministry of reconciliation. When we carry out this work, we are at peace with God, ourselves and others because we shared with them the good news and therefore have peace in our hearts that they may receive the gift of salvation!
11. Stay Salty.
“Salt is good. But if it loses its salty taste, you can’t make it good again. So, don’t lose that good quality of salt you have. And live in peace with each other.”
The good quality of salt is its ability to unilaterally influence anything it comes in contact with. Once some salt is added to something, it disperses its qualities to enhance the flavour and taste of the thing it has come in contact with. As my pastor once said, the meat can be salty but the salt can never be meaty. Staying salty, therefore, means staying influential. When we don’t live in peace with those around us, we lose our saltiness towards them, i.e. our ability to influence by evangelising and sharing the gospel of Jesus.
12. Stay Fearless.
“I leave you peace. It is my own peace I give you. I give you peace in a different way than the world does. So don’t be troubled. Don’t be afraid.”
A person who is at peace has nothing to fear. Similarly, when we live in peace with others, our consciences are guilt free and we have nothing to fear in the world. We bring Jesus into our atmosphere and He eliminates our fears and troubles. This allows us to share the peace we’ve been given with others. So walk in the boldness that comes with a clear conscience and you will be empowered to live peacefully with those around you.
13. Say No To Revenge.
Wish only good for those who treat you badly. Ask God to bless them, not curse them. When others are happy, you should be happy with them. And when others are sad, you should be sad too. Live together in peace with each other. Don’t be proud, but be willing to be friends with people who are not important to others. Don’t think of yourself as smarter than everyone else. If someone does you wrong, don’t try to pay them back by hurting them. Try to do what everyone thinks is right. Do the best you can to live in peace with everyone. My friends, don’t try to punish anyone who does wrong to you. Wait for God to punish them with his anger. In the Scriptures, the Lord says, “I am the one who punishes; I will pay people back.”
To have peace, we must put on an attitude of peace in our relationships with others. An attitude of peace is one that does not seek revenge. It does not seek to hurt those who have hurt them or punish those who do them wrong. Peace waits and trust in God’s justice. To have an attitude of peace is to be loving, understanding, kind and humble. Most importantly, an attitude of peace desires the goal of peace for others i.e. does everything to help others live peacefully!
14. Help Others Grow In Faith.
In God’s kingdom, what we eat and drink is not important. Here is what is important: a right way of life, peace, and joy—all from the Holy Spirit. Whoever serves Christ by living this way is pleasing God, and they will be accepted by others. So let’s try as hard as we can to do what will bring peace. Let’s do whatever will help each other grow stronger in faith. Don’t let the eating of food destroy the work of God. All food is right to eat, but it is wrong for anyone to eat something that hurts the faith of another person. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else that hurts the faith of your brother or sister.
In God’s kingdom, a lifestyle of peace is more important than eating and drinking. We can work towards peace by helping other believers grow stronger in their faith. Avoid doing things that hurt the faith of your brothers and sisters in Christ. When we hurt them, we hurt ourselves and further destroy God’s work. Try as much as possible to do only what will bring peace and strengthen the faith of your brethren rather than things which pull brethren away from God’s grace.
15. Be Gracious.
No, we have already said that those who are Jews, as well as those who are not Jews, are the same. They are all guilty of sin. As the Scriptures say, “There is no one doing what is right, not even one. There is no one who understands. There is no one who is trying to be with God. They have all turned away from him, and now they are of no use to anyone. There is no one who does good, not even one.”
“Their words come from mouths that are like open graves. They use their lying tongues to deceive others.” “Their words are like the poison of snakes.” “Their mouths are full of cursing and angry words.” “They are always ready to kill someone. Everywhere they go they cause trouble and ruin. They don’t know how to live in peace.” “They have no fear or respect for God.”
What the law says is for those who are under the law. It stops anyone from making excuses. And it brings the whole world under God’s judgment because no one can be made right with God by following the law. The law only shows us our sin.
This scripture says those who live under the law do not know how to live in peace. So what do you do when you encounter such people? Be gracious. A key way to live in peace with others is to remember that everyone is in need of grace. To be gracious is to be Christ-like and Christ is a very peaceful person. In fact, He is the Prince of Peace. So be gracious towards everyone, for all are guilty of sin. The knowledge of this should not make us prideful but should humble us. Knowing that we need grace just as much as everyone else, let us endeavour to show grace to those who need it.