Read Matthew 5:21-24
For most of us the real enemy to peace in our daily lives is not wars or terrorism, it is conflict with family, friends, and others we regularly come in contact with. Whether your problem is an overbearing family member you tend to see more during the Holidays, or a co-worker who grates you the wrong way, or even a more serious rift that has divided you from someone you were previously close to; God wants to bring peace to all these situations.
Who is someone that challenges your ability to live in peace? What actions or attitudes have you don’t to contribute to this problem?
Jesus informs us in this scripture that peace between his people is God’s first desire. In fact verse 24 teaches us that no gift we can give to God is as important as a right relationship with other people. Depending on the nature of the conflict, going to the person and telling them you have a problem with them (even if an apology is offered) may be the opposite of peaceful.
Light the Candle of Peace.
Take a moment to pray and reflect on the person previously mentioned and then share a way you could encourage peace in that relationship.
[Make sure everyone has had the opportunity to share his or her thoughts.]
Some ideas that come to mind:
-Pray for the person regularly; pray your heart will be changed toward them. Pray for concerns that are important to them. Replace any moment you are tempted to speak or thing negatively about that person with a prayer instead.
-Get them a thoughtful gift or offer them a heartfelt compliment. Taking time to think about something that is meaningful to them will send a powerful message.
-For more serious situations consider having a discussion with a personal goal of resolution, perhaps a professional is necessary to facilitate this.