Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Peace”
Our Bible verse for today: “Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.” 1 Peter 3:11 (NLT)
Our thought for today: “Peace isn’t for wimps.”
Edmund Burke was an Irish author, philosopher, and statesman who lived in England in the mid to late 1700’s. He served in the British House of Commons during the time of the American Revolutionary War and he was a strong advocate in favor of American Independence. He is best remembered for his profound statement:
“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
Burke’s point is exactly what Peter was writing about in 1 Peter 3:11. It’s not enough to just shun or turn away from evil – we must actively strive to do good. We have to be intentional about it. It takes effort and work. We have to “search” for peace – look for it, uncover it, and then “work” to maintain it. What’s being described is an active effort.
Too often people equate pacifism with peace. They conclude that simply avoiding conflict – at all costs – results in peace. By that definition then, people living under the rule of a brutal dictator have peace. Even though the ruler is evil and the laws are unjust, as long as they conform and obey they will have a form of peace. But is that really peace? And could it be what God wants for us?
Sometimes achieving peace means confronting situations that are wrong and engaging in a struggle to bring about good. Sometimes it could mean even intentionally creating conflict so that real peace can eventually prevail. The circumstances that prompted Burke’s famous quote are a case in point. If the American colonists had simply submitted to the unjust dictates of the king of England they would have had a form of peace, but it would not have been real peace. Instead they intentionally provoked a conflict in order to oppose the injustice and eventually that did lead to peace.
Peter’s command in 1 Peter 3:11 is another example. If we simply remain silent and allow evil to have it’s way we’ll have a form of peace – in that the world will ignore us and we will therefore enjoy an absence of conflict, but that’s not real peace. Instead, we are commanded to shun the evil – actively resist it. Then we move in the direction of good – searching for real peace. And then once we have it, we must do the hard work to maintain it. It’s active and intentional. It’s achieving peace by opposing evil. It’s hard work and will probably involve conflict.
Achieving and maintaining peace is an intentional and active process. Peace isn’t for wimps.
God Bless, Pastor Jim