‘Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.’
These are very clear instructions telling how we as humans are supposed to live! There are no short cuts allowed either as we are given a tall order to make ‘every effort’ and not a token attempt to live peaceful and holy lives. On top of taking care of ourselves we are instructed to accept responsibility for others, putting individual and communal behaviours on our personal agenda. This is a part of everyday life, reality being that we do care for one another; apparent when we give general advice and guidance and also in the way we observe one another, listen and try to be of help.
Living in peace requires us to be considerate and adaptable- in our own homes, our community and the world at large. It can be very easy to ridicule others or become angered by their opinions, frustrated with certain behaviours or simply upset with someone’s views. We need to cultivate tolerance because tolerance allows us to enlarge our perspectives.
It is very clear that God really lives in us because it is through our actions that we will be able to see Him. We need to think about this a bit. There are a few people in history whom God has directly revealed himself to, but here we are told that we have the power to see God through living holy lives. It does not state when, however every good action should have a ‘Godly’ quality to it. We are also shown the importance of disregarding the bad, which when left uncorrected can cause huge problems for many people. We are given tools to use, especially discipline and must discipline our children otherwise they may grow up to be wayward! We know these things although sometimes choose to keep quiet and not stir up trouble. Every single action affects someone else so we need to make sure that we allow good to flourish and do our best to stamp out negativity and evil. Do not be a bitter root, instead be a sweet flower attracting the bees and the butterflies!
Jaz McKenzieIf you would like to share a verse or opinion, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org