Living in peace in a contentious world

Have you noticed there seems to be a lot of contention in the world right now? I have, and I’ve asked God to show me how I am to personally govern myself and live in these days.

Some of the contentious behavior of Christians has made me sad. I feel we have such an opportunity to show an anxious, troubled world who God is, and what real peace — peace of walking with Jesus — looks like.

Our hearts have to be anchored in God to do this effectively.

Romans 12:2 (NIV) tells us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

As believers, we are called to come up higher and think differently than those around us. The news and social media are jammed packed with contentious stories and material.

The word contentious means “causing or likely to cause an argument.” A contentious person is someone given to provoking an argument. It is OK to disagree, but we need to do it with respect and honor.

It is important that we do not jump on bandwagons; it is important that we really check out the sources of information online, on social media and in the news — otherwise, we can get all worked up about something that is not even true.

One of my favorite prayers is, “God, you are a God of truth, so reveal truth to me.”

I also research things to really see if they are facts.

I recently found a scripture that adjusted my thinking.

I Corinthians 10:23-24 (NIV) says, “I have the right to do anything.”

But, you say, not everything is beneficial.

“I have the right to do anything ”

But, not everything is constructive.

“No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”

Christ gives us freedom in him, but we have to examine our hearts to see if our words and actions are constructive and establish peace.

The world is changing, whether we like it or not. How are we going to respond? Just like all the other people — anxious, fearful, argumentative?

Jesus has a better way. Walking in peace and giving that peace to others; however, we cannot give the peace of God away if we are not walking in it ourselves.

Romans 12:9-12 says, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

My heart is to cheer people on in their dreams and journey with God. We can’t do that if we are arguing with one another. So, we have to decide what is more important us — winning an argument or love and earning the right to be heard by others?

Everyone is advertising something in their words and actions. We have such an opportunity to impact the world around us right now, but we can’t do it if we are joining the continuous bandwagons.

Will you join me in bringing harmony and peace into our community?

Kathleen Maxwell is a native of the Hill Country, a writer and speaker. You can contact her at [email protected]. For more information, articles, her podcast or to purchase her book, “Thriving Through Seasons of Grief,” visit her website at