Seek Peace and Pursue It
“Turn away from evil and do what is good; seek peace and pursue it.” – Psalm 34:14
Peace is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Jesus said that peacemakers are blessed and will be called sons of God (Matt. 5:9). The Word says that we are to live at peace with everyone, as much as is possible (Rom. 12:18). Christ proclaimed the gospel of peace to all who were far away and peace to those who were near (Eph. 2:17). It is also Jesus who is our peace and who is able to tear down dividing walls of hostility and make two groups one – and He did (Eph. 2:14). God wants us to be at peace among ourselves (1 Thess. 5:13). The Lord made peace and reconciled everything to Himself through His blood that was shed on the cross for our sins (Col. 1:20), and we all have access to that saving blood and peaceful reconciliation through repentance and baptism (Rom. 6:1- 5). It’s unmistakable: peace is a blessing, and we all should pursue it.
When there’s a struggle between two parties there will never be an agreement made unless and until at least one party shows grace, humility, and mercy towards the other. Consider the husband and wife at odds, the parents and their teenager going back and forth about curfew, or even bickering coworkers. Two people cannot walk together unless they agree (Amos 3:3). One has to acquiesce to the other’s demands, or both parties have to come to some common ground in order to move forward. Otherwise, no one can exist and thrive in a hostile environment.
Peace is definitely a blessing that we need in this country – and is this world, abroad. There are too many senseless murders and tragedies that occur that can be avoided if we all wholeheartedly seek to be at peace with one another. It’s so disheartening to hear almost every other week of a mass killing spree that one individual decides to inflict upon innocent and unsuspecting lives. It has to stop. It’s evil manifested by way of hate, selfishness, and sin. And it’s a sin committed against the victims, their loved ones, and against God. But we can make a difference. I think the media-at-large can have a positive impact in that effort.
I don’t mean having discussions about gun laws or gun violence. Talking doesn’t bring about change; it’s action that makes the difference. Reporters, journalists, and television hosts, alike, can foster the civility, the respect, and the ethical behavior that is lacking in those who find it acceptable to take lives and create a world of chaos for others. I know that the media can cultivate such basic ideals in the American people.
They’ve done it before. I’ve seen news reporters rally together the entire nation for humanitarian causes. They have made the public aware of natural disasters and of ways to be of assistance to those affected by them. The media has also fostered an overall sense of respect for those in our country who devote themselves to service – be it in the community, in the country’s military, or, even, in the classroom.
In a country that’s so divided politically, it’s the media that has the megaphone that can and will calm down the masses and invite each person – as individuals first, and then as a whole – to treat one another as human beings, and to uphold the dignity of fellowman. It can be done, even in a country that’s so filled with hate, corruption, and malice. Yes, just like every other person, news reporters have their faults.
They, at times have abused their power and status, and many continue to do so. However, it is not indicative of every news personality. They are people, too, who need mercy and grace just like the rest of us. And they can’t all be bad. They’re just always looking for their next big break. I get it: they want to do their jobs and freely report and express whatever information they choose. It makes sense. They want to do their job. It’s just that some of them do so at the peril of others.
Getting to the top of the ladder in your career doesn’t have much meaning in the end, if you have to step on everyone to get there. I want to be able to pull people up to the top with me when I get there. And if I don’t make it to the top, I want to be cheering those on who are making their way past me there. Dale Carnegie once said, “If you want to gather honey, don’t kick the beehive.”
If the media can play a major role in propagating disregard and disdain for candidates, politicians, and other public figures, then they can also do the opposite. I think that they are capable of extending kindness and engendering respect of all people among the nation. And I know that that is the only kind of climate in which anyone who cares about such things would want to take part in their enterprise.
Besides, who wants to be interviewed by or share whatever story they have with someone who disrespects them or other people? That’s what they want, anyway – respect, respect of their job and their right to do it, just like you and I want respect of our privacy, our homes, our families, our thoughts, our bodies, and our entire lives. To get respect, you have to give it.
They are in the public eye, and the media has the power to influence people’s actions for good. Can they do it in this current, staunchly divided, and corrosive environment? Will they? If so, then there’s the exclusive story of a lifetime just waiting to be told.
The same is true in our homes, in our schools, on our jobs, and in our communities. It’s something worth reporting and talking about when there is unity and peace instead of division and hostility. Change and progress take place within each individual, and it permeates to everyone around them. “May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you” (Jude 1:2).
“So then, we must pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another.” – Romans 14: 19
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