Pursuing Peace in the Love of Life
WHAT person in his right mind does not love life and want to see good days? Without life we could not enjoy anything. However, life without peace would not have good days. Peace with whom? Peace, first of all, with God. Why so? Because without it peace with one’s fellow man would not be possible. It is because men today are not concerned with making peace with God that there is so little peace between them.—1 Pet. 3:8-12.*
As dedicated Christians we have made peace with God, have become reconciled to him; now we want to pursue peace with our fellow creatures both outside and within the Christian congregation. To this end we must make our minds over. All old-world notions about one race or nation as being superior to others must be got rid of. Jesus Christ by his sacrifice did not break down the barriers or wall between Jew and Gentile only to let us raise others, but so that all his followers throughout the earth might be united in one fold.—Eph. 2:11-18; Col. 3:11.
Greatly helping us in the pursuit of peace are the Kingdom, established in 1914, and the theocratic rule set up among us in 1938. How so? Because even as, when there was a king in Israel, men could no longer do what was right in their own eyes, so the Kingdom’s establishment brought stricter supervision, especially from 1919 onward. And since 1938 the inequalities that existed among God’s people world-wide have been done away with by the fulfillment of Isaiah 60:17.
Exercising self-control is imperative to our pursuing peace. “Safeguard your tongue against what is bad, and your lips against speaking deception.” We may not pay back injury for injury and reviling for reviling but must attempt to bestow a blessing, remembering that “an answer, when mild, turns away rage.” We simply have to refrain from all provocative speech.—Ps. 34:13; Prov. 15:1.
Nor may we overlook the need of praying for peace. If we really have the good of God’s organization at heart we will heed the psalmist’s words: “Ask for the peace of Jerusalem. Those loving you will be free from care. May peace continue within your rampart . . . For the sake of my brothers and my companions I will now speak: ‘May there be peace within you.’” That such prayer for peace is fruitful the apostle Paul shows: “By prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God, and the peace of God that excels all thought will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.”—Ps. 122:6-8; Phil. 4:6, 7.
No doubt the best way to pursue peace is by our “always having plenty to do in the work of the Lord.” Peace with God and our fellow man does not mean laziness, careless ease or inactivity. Far from it! At peace among ourselves we go forth with our “feet shod with the equipment of the good news of peace,” and say, in effect, to the householders we meet, “May this house have peace.” We urge all who will hear to make peace with God. Pursuing peace also means being kind and tactful when presenting the message and particularly when coming face to face with opposition. This is a most joyful work, for “those counseling peace have rejoicing.”—1 Cor. 15:58; Eph. 6:15; Luke 10:5; Prov. 12:20.
For details see The Watchtower, December 15, 1959.