It is the beauty pageant response, the top of Christmas wish lists, good fodder for politicians, it is something we all want yet remains so elusive … world peace. Are we capable of getting there one day? On our own, I do not think so. The good thing is that we’re not on our own.
After reading for today’s advent I took a look at the verse of the day from YouVersion’s Bible app.
bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. – Colossians 3:13 ESV
I typically read a little before and after the verse of the day, especially when it starts off in mid-thought as this one does. Too often texts can be, and sadly at times intentionally are, taken out of context. Verse 12 starts with ‘Put on then’ which again seems to imply that we’re still looking at a response to a previous thought. Finally, in verse 11 we start with:
Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. – Colossians 3:11 ESV
Back to world peace. I think that some feel that it would come through one nation ruling the world. But which nation? I don’t feel that my nation has the ability to rule with peace. Even if I was deluded enough to believe that it did … I would imagine that individuals living in other countries would take issue with my country ruling theirs. Perhaps an unbiased one world government? I do not think that anything like that could be established. A world government could be, but not one that is unbiased and benevolent. Does this mean that world peace is impossible? If we’re doing it on our own, I think it is.
But we don’t have to do it on our own. Colossians 3:11-17 gives us direction to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts. I’m not talking about a god of religion. We’re talking about the real Jesus Christ. The one who showed kindness to those who could do nothing for him. The one who listened and showed love and compassion to complete strangers. Who, with complete humility, was born in a manger. Fed those that could not pay. Most of all, as he was being crucified he forgave those who did not deserve it.
Can we do this? Can we help our neighbor who will never be able to repay? Do we even know their name? Can we forgive those who do not deserve it? Can we walk in humility, kindness, and patience, with compassionate hearts to all? This is how world peace is achieved. Not with force or by a distant government representative, but one heart at a time. I encourage us all today to show more kindness, compassion, and generosity. To forgive, especially when it is not deserved. To spread love like a toddler spreads germs.