Monday, March 12, 2012

We Are Not Umpires of Empires

"Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy" (Hebrews 12:14).

Here we are told to live in harmony with all people, not just those we choose. The world demands satisfaction for insults; God demands harmony. The malignant person is unable to be objective and he fastens on to a particular person who he feels has wounded him. The beneficent person lets go and lets God take care of justice because God has promised justification as well as sanctification for those who finally understand that this is the least we owe to Him and to our brothers and sisters.

The peaceful person is impartial and independent of others' opinions. He looks through neither a rose- nor black- nor bleak-colored telescope to enlarge others' faults or a microscope to diminish their virtues, but clear glasses for a transparent and objective vision. This fortunate person understands that "for now we see through a glass, darkly" (1 Corinthians 13:12).

The peaceful person also understands that we are not all made of the same emotional matter, and it does not matter. God made us this way for many reasons, not the least of which is to teach us how to get along with others. We are not the umpires of empires, and thank God we don't need to be.

Life is much easier, too, when we let God take care of all the emotional matters for us. Enmities make enemies. If we keep in mind that someone we perceive as our enemy is God's good friend, we may be less likely to harbor negative emotions about him or her. Jesus died for all peoples; for that reason alone, we do well to willingly love them. The new earth will be peopled with all sizes and shapes and varieties; it is a verity that it won't be our differences that keep us out but our divisions.

"Of all the birds the dove is the most easily alarmed and put to flight at hearing a shot fired. Remember that the Holy Spirit is compared to a dove; and if you begin to shoot at each other, the Heavenly Dove will take wing and instantly leave you. The Holy Spirit is one of love and peace, not of tumult and confusion. He cannot live among the smoke and noise of fired shots: if you would grieve the Holy Spirit and compel Him to retire, you have only to commence firing at one another, and He will instantly depart" (Anonymous).

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