1) Ephesians 4:3 (NCV); 2) Colossians 3:14 (TLB)
1) You are joined together with peace through the Spirit, so make every effort to continue together in this way. 2) Most of all, let love guide your life, for then the whole church will stay together in perfect harmony.
God’s purpose for us (individually and corporately) is to belong and flourish in His family the church – forever. To be able to do this we need to protect one another, as we together make up the church. How do we do this? The scriptures today encourage us to make every effort to continue in peace and to let love guide our lives.
As I think about how I can practically bring peace and live a life guided by love I have found myself thinking about the many verses in the bible that teach us what to think on and what to say/not to say. I love these verses. To me they are verses of freedom not rules to abide by. When I follow them I feel settled, full of peace and love comes more easily. I believe these verses are there to help us lead a good life – together, taking care of one another.
This is one of the key “think” verses:
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (NIV)
I have memorised this one. I have needed to! I have a brain that loves to engage in critical thinking. And that is a good God given gift when guided but it can be destructive when left unchecked. My thinking affects my speaking and I want to speak about things that are worth talking about, to encourage and to praise. Such positive speaking unites us and protects us as a church.
The book of Proverbs in the Old Testament warns us of the effect of negative talk. It is full of advice on what not to say; do not gossip, stay away from slander, be careful with criticism, and do not cause division.
In the New testament we are told over and over again to speak to one another in love, encourage one another in unity, and help each other to praise.
In Luke 4:22 NIV it says of Jesus that “All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips.” We, the church, are God’s people on earth today. Let’s speak well of one another so that those around us may be amazed at what God has done for us and is doing in us even now.
Written by Ps. Zoe Stewart