Since we as human beings need to live and communicate with one another on a constant and day-to-day basis, the quality of our lives are much dependent on our relationship with other people. Without good relationships, we will find it quite challenging to have peace. Harmony means seeking peace and living a life without enmity. But before we can have true peace and harmony with others, we must first be reconciled with God.
In order to obtain peace and happiness, one must reconcile with God. The misfortunes in a person's life originate from his enmity towards God. Sin, which comes from Satan, brings forth enmity against God. Therefore, to have peace with God, one must first be free from sin. “Submit to God and be at peace with Him; in this way prosperity will come to you” (Job 22:21).
When we turn away from God’s words and lose the sensitivity of fear towards Him in our hearts, we gradually draw ourselves closer to the world and the sins that entangle us. We can be a regular church-goer or even an important worker for the Lord, but that doesn’t mean we feel at peace with God. Often times, this is because we have yet to live out His commands and to submit to His will.
And if we don’t have peace with God, we will all the more lack His wisdom to deal with other people. So when we wonder why we don’t have peace and harmony at home, at work, or at church, we have to look first and foremost into our relationship with God. Do we have peace and harmony with God?
Peace with Others
Home is where we find bliss and rest. All things would go well in a house if the family members are in harmony, and such a family would be filled with love and vitality. As it is said, "Better a dry crust with Peace and quiet than a house full of feasting with strife "(Prov 17:1). “Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred” (Prov 15:17). Thus, we must first love the members of our family. How can we love others if we do not love our own family members?
Fellow brothers and sisters
All believers are God's children born by the Holy Spirit. God would be pleased if His children can live in harmony. On the other hand, discord among His children will bring grief to God. If brothers and sisters can live in harmony and love, God will regard this as good and beautiful, and will bestow upon us the greatest blessings. “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” (Ps 133:1-3)
Peace with all men
Living in this world, we must treat others with gentleness and kindness. In order to live in harmony with others, we must be gentle. Since we cannot live a life of isolation, we should learn to coexist together.
We are all God's offspring (Acts 17:29), which means, in a broad sense, that we are akin with all the people in the world. Although those who have not been reborn are not yet the children of God, once they turn to God, they too, will become our brothers and sisters. Not only is this our wish, it is also the will of God, because the Lord does not want anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Pet 3:9).
Therefore, we should all the more be kind to others and be an example to them of what being God’s children mean. It is to have His love and His compassion, His patience and His way of resolving issues; that is, to have His virtues. When we have peace with God and understand His will for us, we also understand His heart for the lost souls in this world. If we don’t have God’s peace with men, it is difficult to approach them as we are resentful or apathetic
If we have the attitude of “an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth,” there will be no peace. The Bible tells us that we must “[m]ake every effort to live in peace with all men” (Heb 12:14). And only if we repay evil with good can peace be built up, for “[w]hen a man's ways are pleasing to the Lord, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him” (Prov 16:17). This is part and parcel of what it means to live a life of Christ—one that’s filled with His peace and His harmony, and such a life is a good testimony of the wonderful gospel we ought to live out everyday.
This kind of believers will be called sons of God (Mt 5:9). And to have peace with others, we ought to keep the following principles:
· Remove self-righteousness and obstinacy
· Remove self-interest and seek the interest of others
· Be understanding, be forgiving, and be yielding
If we can practice these principles of peace, not only can we achieve harmony and peace with everyone, we will all the more be pleasing to God and be blessed by Him abundantly.