How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!
Thoughts on today’s verse…
Most of us are old enough to remember the ‘cold war.’ Remember the ‘practice runs’ that were held in our schools? In the event of a nuclear attack, we were to get away from the windows, crawl under a heavy piece of furniture and put our head between our knees. Honestly, it’s a good thing I was a child when doing that practice routine – there is not a chance I could put my head between my knees now, not without substantial assistance!
I remember how frightened I was of nuclear bombs and Russians. I’m not sure why, it was probably the hysteria of the era. As I got older and read more and more, I determined that in the event of a nuclear attack, I wanted to be at ground zero and just vaporized, not having to suffer the effects of radiation as I’d read about with the Japanese survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. How very sad, it seemed to me, that different peoples and different cultures desired to kill off one another.
And now the ‘cold war’ is over and the Berlin wall was destroyed almost twenty years ago. Some of those very peoples and cultures we were ‘at war’ with have now become our friends and allies.
Remember the story in the book of Acts – the early Christian believers thought they had an enemy is Saul of Tarsus, and frankly, the feeling was mutual. Saul was extremely active in persecuting the Christians in Jerusalem and was determined to deal the same harsh blows to the believers in Damascus. But all that changed when Jesus appeared to him and his life was dramatically changed.
However… the believers in Damascus were suspicious of Saul when he arrived and declared he was also a believer in Jesus Christ. What the early Christians witnessed was Saul’s manner of living and the dramatic change that had taken place in his life, even the changing of his name from Saul to Paul. Paul became a passionate friend of believers everywhere.
Have you secretly been at ‘war’ with a co-worker or a neighbor or a family member? Beginning today, make a concerted effort to find common ground with that person. Smile when your instincts tell you to grimace. Psalm 122:9 reads, “For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good.” And that is what we as Christians should endeavor to do.
Lord God, Father of all creation – hear my prayer: Forgive me for the times I have experienced anger and frustration with one of your children. Give me strength and endurance when trying to change my attitude towards that person and help me to find common ground. Help me to remember that person (or persons) in prayer. In Jesus’ name ~Amen!
Yours, because we’re His,