I am convinced that the two things in this world people are desperate for are, peace and joy. Several times in scripture Scripture we are told to strive for peace. Peace doesn’t come easy. We have to work at it, and even then it is not guaranteed. Jesus is the source of our peace, and we need to start there, but when there isn’t peace with other people, we need to take steps to bring it about.
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;
It seems like it is getting harder to get along with people today. We can only accept and trust those who believe exactly as we do. If someone disagrees with us, they say we are full of hate. The writer of Hebrews exhorts us to pursue peace. The word strive means effort on our part. We shouldn’t expect the people to come to us and admit they are wrong but we should go to them and learn to live with our differences. We don’t have to agree with them, but we are commanded to love them.
Live a Holy Life
We are told to live a holy life. If we don’t live that way, then no one will see Jesus in us. We might be the only Jesus these people ever see. If we are always arguing our point of view or looking down at people in judgment there won’t be any peace and our witness will be diminished. Living a holy life is being obedient to scripture and trusting the Lord with our life.
There are some things that can prevent peace from happening, a lack of grace and bitterness. Verse fifteen says “see to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God. That means that we forgive those who have wronged us and we are not holding it against them. We should be gracious in our behavior and word. Failing to extend grace can lead to bitterness in our hearts. It is said that bitterness is like taking poison and hoping the other person dies. Our bitterness can cause so much trouble in our lives. It’s like a domino effect. For peace to be present, we need to root out the bitterness by showing grace to those who don’t deserve it.
Peace is not always possible. There are some people who just don’t want to make amends. They would rather live as they are than rest in the peace that Christ gives us. That shouldn’t stop us from striving for peace with them. Obedience to God always supersedes anything else. If you can’t arrive at peace, then continue to pray for them and let God do his work.