Winning the Peace Inside and Out
God calls us to participate in the same peacemaking campaign we find in the teachings of Jesus and the writing of the Apostle Paul. We are no strangers to relational conflict. It is easy to argue the greatest challenges we face in our world today have their root in greed, distrust and misunderstandings between people. This is true in our governments, businesses, communities and families.
It would be wrong to assume, if we merely apply Biblical principles to these environments, the problems will just go away. Truth is important, but it must begin on the inside if it is going to have an impact on the outside.
This was the error of the Pharisees. In theory they believed they could create a moral world by teaching and enforcing God’s Word. But because they believed righteousness was a product of human effort, they lost sight of God’s heart. They failed to receive God’s perfect peace or begin the task of winning the peace because they were fighting the wrong battle with the wrong weapons. Instead of self-righteousness they should have pursued the righteousness of God that comes from a pure heart and a submissive will. Sure, it was good to promote a moral code, but instead of condemning those who failed to live up to their standard they should have helped them see the love of God.
There is no border between the peace of God in us and the peace we win in our world. We must have one to produce the other. This doesn’t mean winning the peace does not involve upholding truth, or the “correcting”, “rebuking” and “training in righteousness” Paul spoke of in his letter to Timothy (2 Timothy 3:16). It simply accepts the fact we cannot share what we do not have, and we cannot produce what we do not understand.