Bible Society of South Africa

Goals and resolutions: Peace – 4 February 2022

By Charlea Sierberhagen-Grey

Bible text(s)

18Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody.

Romans 12:18GNBOpen in Bible reader

Usually, when I think of the word “peace”, I immediately think of world peace and the light-hearted jokes that are often made of beauty queens who try to effect world peace. I normally think how destructive wars are, how peace on earth would be the ideal – if everyone would just get along. Yes, I usually thought about peace in terms of the world and wider context.

Over the past few years, I have learnt, though, that peace in my personal life is a priority. Humanity will for ever differ and be at loggerheads with one another – it is heart-breaking, but it is part of being human.

But, there are few things that can upset my heart as much as tempestuous relationships with friends, family and loved ones. When it comes to ones I love and whom I care about, I want there to be peace between us. But not only my loved ones, but also the people I am in contact with at work every day. I want things to be right between us because when there is peace among us, there is peace in my heart and I feel free.

It is a given that you will not always agree with your own people. Sometimes, people hurt you deeply and you feel as though you would rather walk away from the relationship. Indeed, friendship and respect have to be mutual.

Yet, I believe that we should always try to make peace where we can. This is what the Bible asks us to do and that is what is expected if the Holy Spirit is in control of our lives.

“The Spirit has given us life; he must also control our lives.” (Galatians 5:25)

I think the reason for this is not necessarily to achieve world peace (although it would be absolutely fantastic if we are able to achieve that), but I think it is because God knows that disunity with the people around you can be all-consuming. I believe that God wants us to have peace with the people around us so that we can have peace in our own hearts. If there is peace in our hearts, we are free and happier than when we need to live with negativity in our hearts.

Happy people have peaceful hearts and often, to boot, have a positive impact on the world around them. They simply cannot help it.

Prayer: God, please help me to be a peacemaker. Help me to live in peace with people around me so that there is also peace in my heart. Amen

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