Friday, February 22, 2013

Pursue Peace

Pursue Peace,The Believing Woman: Scriptures for the Soul: Pursue Peace!
Pursue Peace (image courtesy of The Believing Woman)

Whoever would love life and see good days...must seek peace and pursue it.” (1 Peter 3:10-11, NIV)

When I think about the word “pursue”, I associate it with “chasing” or “being chased”. I think of Moses and the Children of Israel being pursued by Pharaoh's army as they stood on the shore of the Red Sea. I think of David being pursued by Saul after being anointed king by Samuel. I think of Elijah pursued by Jezebel and taking refuge in a cave. In all three instances, the pursuit of these men and people (the Children of Israel), the aim was to cause harm. Some of you may have dreamed of being pursued and fleeing from a captor.

This is how the word pursue triggers memories and prior experiences in my mind.

But what does Peter mean when he says we ought topursue peace?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word “pursue” as a transitive verb with the meaning, to follow in order to overtake, capture, kill, or defeat. To overtake, capture, kill or defeat all seem to be in opposition of the biblical concept of peace.

Am I to overtake peace? Capture peace? Kill peace? Defeat peace?

I don't think Peter had this in mind.

The Greek word for seek is zēteō (zā-te'-ō), it means to seek in order to find:
  1. to seek a thing
  2. to seek [in order to find out] by thinking, meditating, reasoning, to enquire into
  3. to seek after, seek for, aim at, strive after
The Greek word for pursue is diōkō (dē-ō'-kō), it means to run swiftly in order to catch a person or thing, to run after:
  1. to press on: figuratively of one who in a race runs swiftly to reach the goal
  2. to seek after eagerly, earnestly endeavor to acquire
I have the impression of woman Christ described who lost a coin and searched for it in her home, diligently sweeping the floor until she found it; she pursued that coin! She was motivated so that nothing hindered her progress. The goal being to find her lost coin!

I believe Peter is encouraging us to pursue peace with the same enthusiasm and attitude. We should be eager to have peace, we should be earnest in our efforts to maintain peace and we should be focused so that our aim is to maintain peace.

Why is peace so important in the life of a Christian?

I believe it is so easy to sink in the quagmire of contention and conflict. I’m driving down the street and the car behind me continually blows his horn for me to move. I become upset and begin to respond to his behavior. A situation like that cries for peace, yet instead, I engage in conflict.

I believe that when I act from my emotions in a negative way that contradicts the Spirit of God, peace flees from me.

I must remember to focus on obtaining peace, I must learn how to maintain peace, I must practice the pursuit of peace.

Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:10-12, NIV)

Three changes in my life allow me to have peace:
  1. Keep my tongue from evil and my lips from deceitful speech
  2. Turn from evil and do good
  3. I must seek peace and pursue it
written by MTJ

A Note of Thanks: I would just like to say that I appreciate each of you who visit My Thought-filled Journey. Taking time out of your schedule to read a post on this blog is encouraging to me. Many of those who visit, will from time to time leave a comment. Whether a comment is left is not important. What is important, is that you came. I do hope you find encouragement and inspiration in these words. Please know I will pray with you regarding any circumstance you may be facing. Feel free to write me to say "Hello", request prayer, or share what God is doing in your life. I have not said it enough, but thank you for the light of Chist in your life which illuminates the way for us all.

Spiritual Sunday'sNote: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).


Rozalija said...

My Lord, in the silence of this day, while reading MTJ’s post, I come to You and ask You for wisdom, peace and strength. Today I want to see this world through the eyes of love, patience, gentleness, lucidity and prudence.
I want to see myself as You alone see me. Close my ears for any evil word. Keep my lips from deceitful speech. Help me to find peace and peruse it. Fill my spirit with Your presence. Connect our families in Your love, harmony and understanding. Keep us from any evil, let all who meet us today feel Your presence in us. Let our families meet again every evening to thank You for all Your blessings. Amen.

Sharon said...

Good, good teaching here. I have always been intrigued by that verse, too. We are encouraged not just to ask for peace, but to seek it. And yes, I like how you compared it to the woman with the coin. Unceasing, undeterred seeking. Not giving up until we find peace and store it in our hearts.