Pursuing Peace

Is peace a passive thing that just sort of comes to you or is it something that needs to be sought or pursued? I think that peace with individuals is something that needs to be pursued.  I think Paul agrees with me…or better…I agree with him.  Here is what he writes in Romans 14:19-23:  19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. 21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. 22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.”  Paul exhorts us to “pursue” peace and the things which edify others.  I wonder if this is too often not what I pursue.  I’m not pursuing conflict but am I actively pursuing peace and what builds up others?  Will I realize that when I build up others, I really am doing the best for myself as well? To close Paul’s thoughts on this entire “eating thing”, he says that all things are pure but it is evil if someone eats something with “offense”.  It is more about the attitude then the action.  Most of us don’t have conflict over eating meat but we can be in conflict over politics or other things.  I think that if you order your life around pursuing peace you won’t have to give up your convictions, and you will be better suited to convince others to your ways and ideas.  Remember, we are to edify or build up each other.  I think we are built up ourselves when we do this.  Please pursue peace!


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