Follow peace with all men, and holiness,
without which no man shall see the Lord.
Living in peace is essential in the life of a Christian, but at times it may seem like an impossible dream. There are always difficult people who seem
determined to cause trouble and stir up dissention and strife.
When you boil it all down, most strife comes about from everyone wanting to have their own way. That's the nature of our flesh: we all
want what WE want. We think that our way is the one that matters.
We are, in the flesh, self centered and self-serving. This is the source of most human strife and stress.
But here's the thing: it's not all about us. The world does not revolve around us and our desires. As Christians, we are not to live according to our flesh. Life in the Spirit offers us a better way.
Philippians 2:3 says: "Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves."
When we esteem others better than ourselves, we don't need to strive so hard to have our own way. We realize that in many matters, there can be
more than one right way, and so we
are willing to allow others to have it their way. We realize that every person approaches things with their own background and experiences, and that their
way may very well be as valid as ours.
When we are always determined to have it our own way, we will always have stress and strife in our lives.
We can have peace, instead of stress and stuggle. That's impossible for us to do, without the help and influence of the Holy Spirit, but with God, all things are possible.
It's really up to us: Do we want to live in peace? Are we willing to humble ourselves and esteem others ahead of ourselves? Will we choose to live according to the flesh, or according to the Spirit?