“Those who desire life
and desire to see good days,
let them keep their tongues from evil
and their lips from speaking deceit;
11 let them turn away from evil and do good;
let them seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
-1 Peter 3:10-12 (NRSV)
Recently, I attended a Saturday evening worship service at my church and ran into somebody I had not seen for a long time. A while back I made the decision to “unfriend” him on a social media site because he tended to post a lot of mean-spirited, violent stuff (along side his ‘Christian’ posts). I had my fill of it– not just from him but also someone else who was doing the same sort of thing. In my estimation, all that does is create strife and serves little or no useful purpose. (The “someone else” I eventually re-added because I really do sense a good heart in him and know he is plagued with ‘ghosts from the past.’) The older I get and [hopefully] more mature in my walk with Christ, the less room I wish to make in my life for conflict and strife. This individual I ran into showed me within a few minutes of conversation that he is the same as ever, chasing some elusive and imaginary source of happiness that he can never quite catch– and feeling cheated and angry about it. He thrives on conflict and made it clear in a very real [and sick] way that he enjoys it. Such people disturb me by their actions and speech. This sort of thing can be a distraction from God and worth putting some effort into avoiding. There is enough of it in life that must be faced and dealt with on a daily basis without staying in a situation or environment that is toxic when you do not have to. Today I think my prayer focus should be on seeking peace.