Peace. We all desire it, usually. We all lack it, often. World peace, inner peace, family peace, political peace; it can all seem just outside our grasp.
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone…” – Hebrews 12:14
In this fifth and final blog post in the Do Better series, I hope you will find encouragement in the significant challenge of being a peacemaker. My premise is that the path to “making every effort to live in peace with everyone” is a path without an end. That is the significant challenge. True peace is a destination worth the effort, though, and that is the encouragement.
It must be said that, of course, sometimes peace – at least for a time – is only possible with separation. You might be in the midst of an unreasonable, irrational, or even dangerous interaction. Nothing I say is intended to suggest you need to stay in the midst of danger to yourself or others.
Those situations, though, are not the norm. Generally, our responsibility to be at peace with everyone is a responsibility from which we cannot be absolved.
This premise is not generally accepted in our society. My rights, my opinion, my political viewpoint, my religious viewpoint, my family, my happiness, my race, my country, my sexuality, my (fill in the blank), all are used to create battle fronts from which we can repel anyone who dares to be, look, think, or act differently.
And even now, it is quite possible you are thinking one of two things:
- Yes, Randy, you are right. This is exactly how people around me are acting. Or,
- I’ve made every effort already.
But I am issuing YOU this significant challenge: the path to making every effort is a path without an end. Please avoid the temptation to think of ‘so and so’ while you are reading this. Take the opportunity to look inward and ask yourself where you may still be doing the opposite of peacemaking. What is the situation, what is the manner of communication, what is the interpersonal interaction that you realize has not been your best? Then, Do Better. Make every effort.
Why does this matter? True inner peace can only be achieved when we find ourselves at peace with others around us. Winning an argument or being sure someone understands how wrong you think they are, may give you some fleeting satisfaction, but it comes at the price of internal turmoil.
I believe that your physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual health needs to be constantly under review so you can make adjustments that ensure growth. One key to ensuring your own personal growth is to be contributing to the healthy growth of others, and even society as a whole.
So, I challenge and encourage you to Do Better.