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Pursue Peaceful Relations

One of the most eye-opening experiences in my life was teaching a semester at a boarding school in West Virginia. The High Scope Institute for Ideas was located in the Monongahela National Forest. This setting was a great place for career underachievers living in broken homes to escape the distractions in life that were holding them back academically. As I got to know these teenagers as a counselor and teacher, I began to understand the importance pursuing peaceful relations.

Let him turn away from wickedness and shun it, and let him do right. Let him search for peace (harmony; undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts) and seek it eagerly. [Do not merely desire peaceful relations with God, with your fellowmen, and with yourself, but pursue, go after them!] – 1 Peter 3:11

Staying positive in the midst of any stressful predicament is difficult. Yet, when you’re a child and one or both of your parents are living in denial of an addiction seems like a no-win situation. If you apply Peter’s advice in the passage above, tough love is necessary to shun wickedness living inside of someone you care about. Whether you are currently dealing with an agitating individual or a series of moral conflicts, the quest for peace can bring forth harmony.

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition ([b]definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that [c]tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall [d]garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, Philippians 4:6-7.

The apostle Paul takes Peter’s instructions to the next level. Whether before, during or after enduring this chaos in your life, pray. Don’t just lift up your voice to the Lord in a casual manner or with a hopeless heart. Rather, thank God for the little things in life and long for a new perspective so that you can begin to see life as Jesus did. In the meantime, as you wait for answers to prayer, unload any burden, concern or pain that you’re still carrying, Matthew 11:28-30, and place it at the foot of the cross.

by Jay Mankus


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