Read: Hebrews 12:14-15
Strive for peace with everyone. (v. 14)
Each year we plant a small garden in our back yard. The kids can pick cherry tomatoes for snacks and I have fresh herbs for my cooking. Tending a garden, though, requires some vigilance. If we don’t give the garden some attention regularly, it will soon fill up with weeds. And if we wait too long to take care of the weeds, their roots intertwine with our vegetables and we can’t pull one without losing the other.
God intends us to be in community with one another to help one another along the way. And the world is watching how we treat one another. If we let ourselves become bitter toward one another, we lose out on a valuable partner in our walk with Jesus. And our witness to the world is damaged as well. Disagreements are inevitable in any relationship, but if we let those disagreements grow, they can tear us apart. Then instead of a body of Christ that cares for each other, people see more of the same fighting and anger that is all too common in our world.
The next time you find yourself in a disagreement with a brother or sister in Christ, ask yourself, what would it look like to extend grace to that person? What can I do to live in peace with him or her? You’ll save yourself from becoming trapped in bitterness and you’ll show the world around you how God can draw us together.
As you pray, ask the Lord to help you extend grace to those around you.