Make every effort to live in peace with everyone … Hebrews 12:14
This is a very broad blanket statement. There are no qualifications and no exceptions. “Live in peace with everyone” is all inclusive. It includes enemies, strangers, atheists, people of all races and religions, immigrants, and that neighbor of yours who loves to pick a fight on just about anything! At a time when there is so much enmity, we need to focus on peace.
Live in peace with everyone. That means you may have to eat some crow, even if you were right, just to maintain the peace. There are other things more important than being right, though a lot of people today would have a hard time coming up with what that might be. Peace would be one of those things. “Make every effort to live in peace.” That sounds like working very hard to reach across barriers of all kinds. This doesn’t mean you always give in for the sake of peace, but it means you consider the cost and decide if the hill you’re about to die on is worth it.
The first Thanksgiving, though it has been mythologized beyond recognition, still represents in our collective memory a group of enemies enjoying a shared meal around the same table. And as we do the same tomorrow, there will undoubtedly be people around your table not on the best terms with each other. Sometimes families can be the most brutal. But let’s make every effort to be at peace with one another and discover the bond that is possible because of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
And let’s be grateful for the good things we enjoy even in these difficult times. And may we make every effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, and how we might encourage one another to love and good deeds.
Make peace with someone today that you might have something to give thanks for tomorrow.