Psalm 34:14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
One of the reasons that we have conflict in our lives – not the only reason by any means – but one of the main ones, is because we brought it on ourselves. Let’s do a quick stocktake of your relationships – the ones that aren’t going so well at the moment. The ones where […]
One of the reasons that we have conflict in our lives – not the only reason by any means – but one of the main ones, is because we brought it on ourselves.
Let’s do a quick stocktake of your relationships – the ones that aren’t going so well at the moment. The ones where the harmony of the relationship has been disrupted by conflict, by a misunderstanding, by a harsh word. And the longer it goes on, the more entrenched our positions become, right?
Okay, so thinking about those relationships, honestly, how much of it is your fault? And even if up front, it didn’t start out as your fault, what opportunities have you allowed to slip by without stepping out and resolving the conflict?
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. (Psalm 34:14)
Short and sweet but actually, it’s a verse that is jam-packed with wisdom. The first bit is really pretty obvious. Depart from evil, but all too often, we use it as a bit of an excuse when it comes to conflict.
Well, it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t start it. It’s up to THEM to say sorry!
But God doesn’t give us that luxury. Depart from evil AND do good – doing good is a proactive step. Doing good is grabbing a hold of a situation and resolving it, even if in your mind, you weren’t the one who started it.
Doing good is about seeking peace and seeking involves getting up off your behind, figuring out a way through and making it happen. Peace, I mean real peace, only happens when both parties are happy with the outcome.
But whilst seeking peace is about being proactive, God takes it even one step further. He doesn’t just want us to seek it out, He wants us to pursue it. The original Hebrew word there for “pursue” carries this sense of chasing it down, to harass in a sense to get it, to aim to secure it, to be ardent and persistent about it.
I wonder when you consider just this one short verse and what it really means, the different light that it casts on your relationships and their conflicts.
I love this. Just eleven words in that verse and yet powerful wisdom that can last you for a lifetime. Jesus said:
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9)
So being the one who brings peace into a relationship, even though it requires humility and sacrifice and not getting your own way all the time, is a powerful witness of the love and the reconciliation that is available in Jesus Christ.
Peacemakers, through their peacemaking, speak the love of Christ into the hearts of their enemies. And that, after all, is exactly what you and I are on this earth to do.
That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.