Hebrews 12:14-15 says, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” I know, starting out with a Bible verse right off the bat… crazy. I really wanted to focus on this Bible verse today and how important this verse my generation is beginning to forget is. I don’t know about you, but I feel like everyone is just waiting to jump at everyone’s throat. Christians should be the peacekeepers of the world, not the troublemakers. Just like Hebrews 12 states, we need to make an effort to live with everyone peacefully and ensure that no one gets left behind on our mission for Christ. Let’s buckle down and talk about a different kind of peace tonight, peace with others.
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone. . .”
If you’ve opened up Facebook or Twitter at any point in your life, you will know that it is often the opposite of peace. I always imagine a lion crouching in the woods waiting to pounce whenever I see that someone has commented on a post. Sometimes it feels like everyone has simply given up on being peaceful and have made it their goal to attack one another. This is where we must take a stand. We have to stop fueling the fires of hatred and begin to extinguish the flames. Rise up to the side that promotes love and understanding. Rise up to caution others to be slow in their words and quick with listening. But first, do so yourself. Take a deep breath every morning and allow God to fill you with peace and patience.
“See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God. . .”
This segment of the verse is commonly mistaken for the allowance of hate or judgement on others we see as “sinners.” Instead of imagining picketters with hateful slogans pasted on their signs, imagine someone catching someone before they even fall. Constantly allow people to witness the grace of God on your life and ensure that you are not a stumbling block for their faith. If you see someone on the edge, provide a gentle and loving hand to hold on to. It is not our job to condemn and bring forth the gavel of justice. We are simply here on Earth to provide everyone with the safety net of Jesus.
“No bitter root. . .”
Bitterness often comes when someone is close to falling and far from peace. This “bitter root” covers an abundance of things. Allow no bitter root to grow up in you. Allow no bitter root to grow up in others. Allow no bitter root to grow in your home. Allow no bitter root to grow in your church, work, or school. Let bitterness be banished from every place that you touch. Hebrews 12 states that if we allow the bitter root to grow it can “cause trouble and defile many.” Bitterness allows a burden on our hearts. It keeps us disconnected from God and when we are disconnected with God… we might as well be turned off. Provide gentleness and optimism to flourish wherever you go and allow God to stop the bitter roots in your life.
It’s really easy to allow these things to slowly creep back into your life. When they go unwatched and untouched you will quickly find yourself burdened with anger and bitterness. We are to be examples to the world. Feed yourself with God’s Word and He will always place you on the right track.