You Can Learn to Be Peaceable
ALTHOUGH we may be born with certain wrong inclinations, violent behavior is usually learned. The same is true of peaceableness. Who, though, can teach us the ways of true peace? Surely, the most authoritative person would be our Creator, whose wisdom is unsurpassed. Consider the following five points and the associated gems of wisdom found in the Bible.
1 “Do not become envious of the man of violence.” (Proverbs 3:31) Recognize that real strength lies in such qualities as self-control and mildness. “He that is slow to anger is better than a mighty man,” says Proverbs 16:32. Like the strong wall of a dam, he is able to withstand the pressures of provocation. In fact, he responds to anger with mildness, and thus “turns away rage.” (Proverbs 15:1) A man disposed to wrath, however, explodes at the slightest provocation.—Proverbs 25:28.
2 Choose your associates wisely. “A man of violence will seduce his fellow,” says Proverbs 16:29. On the other hand, “he that is walking with wise persons will become wise.” (Proverbs 13:20) Yes, when we associate with peaceable people who have self-control and a mild spirit, we will most likely try to imitate them.
3 Cultivate true love for others. The best description of love ever written is found at 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. In part, it reads: “Love is long-suffering and kind. . . . [It] does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. . . . It bears all things, . . . endures all things.” Godlike love, Jesus said, extends even to one’s enemies.—Matthew 5:44, 45.
4 Trust God to deal with the wicked. “Return evil for evil to no one. . . . As far as it depends upon you, be peaceable with all men. Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, . . . for it is written: ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says Jehovah.’” (Romans 12:17-19) When we have faith in God and in his promises, we enjoy an inner peace that people lacking faith cannot even begin to understand.—Psalm 7:14-16; Philippians 4:6, 7.
5 Look to God’s Kingdom to bring true peace to the earth. God’s Kingdom is a heavenly government that will soon eradicate all the wicked and take full control of the entire earth. (Psalm 37:8-11; Daniel 2:44) Under that Kingdom, “the righteous one will sprout,” and there will be an “abundance of peace until the moon is no more.”—Psalm 72:7.
Such Bible teachings have helped millions of people—including some with a violent disposition—to become lovers of peace. Consider the example of Salvador Garza.