Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy. . . .
— Hebrews 12:14

For many years ReFrame’s Russian-language ministry has been producing a talk show called The Difficult Questions. In this live radio broadcast we ­answer listeners’ questions about the Bible and Christianity.
But sometimes we hear from people who have a complaint rather than an inquiry. One caller recently shared that her family left the church because the congregation had many bitter divisions and fights. The woman said that these conflicts weakened her faith.
In our Bible reading for today the author of Hebrews urges readers to “make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy.” This is not an optional short-term activity but a necessity that requires our lifelong commitment. People who are at peace with God are responsible to pursue peace in their relationships with others. You see, when we seek peace with others, we somehow ­mirror the likeness of God. In our love and friendships people see a reflection of God’s glory, and we personally grow in Christ.
The same is true about our personal holiness. A lack of holi­ness leads to sin that separates us from God. It also makes us a poor witness, and we can become a stumbling block to others who are searching for the Lord and seeking to grow in faith.
Do you know the Lord of peace? Does your life reflect that?

Father, guide us to reflect your peace and holiness in a way that is pleasing to you. Help us to be faithful witnesses to others. Amen.

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