"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful."
For the one who takes God seriously, peace is more than inner serenity. It is the gauge by which we can discern sin's impact upon our soul and spirit. What disturbs the peace He gives, is sin. The differing levels of maturity evidenced in the body of Christ are due in large part to the degrees of determination believers have to guard this peace. The greater the hatred of sin, the greater the determination, and the deeper the maturity.
Being comfortable with conflict is death to peace. For, all sin involves conflict... inner, then relational. We tend to focus on interpersonal tensions and often fail to see the source: disrupted peace with the Lord Jesus. Is not the source of the friction among ourselves the broken fellowship we experience with our Lord? Far too frequently we become so complacent with the sin we've become accustomed to, that we lose the sensing of His peace's disappearance. A spiritual uneasiness sets in, and we wonder why our former joy and vitality have vanished.
What is the answer? Humbling ourselves, first under the mighty hand of our loving Lord, and then before any with whom we have ruptured relationships. For, pride is the enemy of peace, used with great effect by the enemy who hates our souls... who intensely desires to destroy our peace, both with the Lord and with each other.
'Father, You know far better than we the devastating consequences of pride's poison. The enemy delights in subtly softening sin's deadly designs, by lulling us into complacency... Awaken, alert, alarm us, O God, to his strategies and schemes! Increase our willingness to humble ourselves before You, and each other. Be pleased to remind us that Your Name is at stake in our lives, with a blinded world needing so desperately to see believers living in personal and relational peace. In Your blessed Son's Name I pray. Amen.'