Peace Comes With a Price

By Linda Tancs

Two world wars and numerous other conflicts provide us with ample evidence that peace comes with a price. This is illustrated biblically as well, particularly when Jesus shows His disciples the wounds of his crucifixion and offers them His shalom peace (John 20:19-23), a peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

What price are you willing to pay for peace—in your family, in your work, in your life? What do you need to sacrifice? Maybe it’s your ego, your identification with material things or a toxic relationship. What do you need to do to amplify your shalom peace and extend it to others?

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

Sorry

By Linda Tancs

An Elton John song reminds us that sorry seems to be the hardest word. On the other hand, it’s not uncommon to hear someone exclaim that “sorry isn’t good enough.” Even for the slightest offenses (perceived to be so in the mind of the offended), it seems like folks are increasingly unable to accept an apology. “Sorry” may be harder to hear than it is to say.

That’s problematic. After all, the Bible tells us to forgive, quickly and repeatedly. Jesus told Peter to forgive “seventy times seven times,” an expression meant to convey boundlessness (Matthew 18:21-22). Forgiving quickly is sensible because it prevents an offense from taking root (Proverbs 19:11). If you don’t want unforgiveness hurled at you, then don’t dole it out to someone else (Matthew 7:12). Your relationship with God depends on it (Mark 11:25).

Pay It Forward

By Linda Tancs

In the parable of the unforgiving debtor (Matthew 18:21-35), Jesus likens the forgiveness of grievances to the forgiveness of debt, exhorting that one should “pay it forward” when experiencing mercy from another. The power of the parable is amply illustrated in real life by a letter sent from statesman Benjamin Franklin to an individual named Benjamin Webb in 1784. It reads:

Dear Sir,

I received yours of the 15th Instant, and the Memorial it inclosed. The account they give of your situation grieves me. I send you herewith a Bill for Ten Louis d’ors. I do not pretend to give such a Sum; I only lend it to you. When you shall return to your Country with a good Character, you cannot fail of getting into some Business, that will in time enable you to pay all your Debts. In that Case, when you meet with another honest Man in similar Distress, you must pay me by lending this Sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the Debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with another opportunity. I hope it may thus go thro’ many hands, before it meets with a Knave that will stop its Progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money. I am not rich enough to afford much in good works, and so am obliged to be cunning and make the most of a little. With best wishes for the success of your Memorial, and your future prosperity, I am, dear Sir, your most obedient servant, B. Franklin.

We often use the expression “on the hook” when someone is compromised in some way, like owing money. Who’s on your hook? Are you willing to cut bait?