Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.

Ephesians 4:36, NLT

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Thought To Ponder

True peace requires true discipline.  I have maintained peace and I have allowed peace to envelop me.  There is a difference.

Merely maintaining peace has allowed me to be silent and polite, yet brew inwardly with ill feelings of being wronged or offended.  To the world, all looks fine and I am handling things well, but on the inside I am dishonoring God. The world would label it as passive-aggressive behavior, but God would describe it as allowing a root of bitterness to grow.  The world would commend the behavior as good self control, but God would call it a sin of the heart.

Being enveloped by peace looks the same on the outside, but the heart is cleansed of all ill feelings.  Justified feelings of anger and frustration, when turned over to God, can be transformed into feelings of empathy and grace.  The person or situation no longer evokes anger, but rather prompts prayer, compassion and mercy.

Living in peace begins on the inside.  It is obtained by confessing our sins so God can cleanse us daily.  We then need to renew our minds, thought by thought, so that we can have the mind of Christ.  We are called to live holy because He is holy. God has not called us to do anything that He hasn’t equipped us to do.  He has called us to be united in peace.

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Today's Challenge

Be deliberate about pursuing a heartfelt peace with a person who is challenging.