January 04, 2007

Habits of Peace

1 Kings 14:30-31

There was continual warfare between Rehoboam and Jeroboam. 1 Kings 14:30


After Solomon died, Rehoboam was able to hold on to only two of the twelve tribes of Israel (1 Kings 12:20-21). The other ten tribes went with Jeroboam. So Jeroboam and Rehoboam did the natural thing: they fought.

Yes, fighting is the natural thing. We know this sad truth from the history of all nations and from our families, our workplaces, and, tragically, even our churches.

That's why the words of Jesus are such a relief to so many people. He said, "Blessed are the peacemakers" (Matthew 5:9), and he taught, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5:44). Jesus possessed all power, but he never used it to harm anyone or make people submit to him.

A couple at their 60th wedding anniversary celebration was asked the secret to their long marriage. The husband said, "Well, when we married, we made a deal: I would make all the major decisions, and she would make all the minor decisions." Then the wife added, "And in 60 years, we've never had to make a major decision!" I guess the truth is that throughout all those years both husband and wife were committed to peaceful decision making in a major way.

Are you in a lifelong, habitual disagreement with someone? Lay down your arms, and pray. With God's help, you can be a peacemaker.

Father, my pride is so big and so strong. With your rod and your staff, guide me in your strength, comfort me, and lead me into the ways of your peace always. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Keith Mannes

Keith Mannes serves as pastor at Highland Christian Reformed Church in McBain, Michigan. Keith and his wife, Alicia, recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary,
and they are thankful for their three children—Eben, Charis, and Breanna.

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