Advent Devotionals: Day 11

1 Thessalonians 5:13b

Live in peace with each other.

Christmas is a time for family and friends to celebrate the peace that Christ brought into the world (Luke 2:14). Sadly, many people find themselves estranged from someone they love during the holidays. As followers of Christ, we are called to be peacemakers: "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone" (Rom. 12:18).

If you're experiencing conflict with someone, holding on to hurt feelings, or carrying a grudge, then follow these steps:

1. Humble yourself before God and at the proper time he will exalt you (l Pet. 5:6). Don't try to exalt yourself.
2. Search your heart for any traces of bitterness or resentment (Heb. 12:15). Confess your sin and receive God's cleansing grace.
3. Remember how much God has forgiven you, and extend that same forgiveness to others (Eph. 4:32).
4. Make an effort to be reconciled, otherwise it will disrupt your worship and hinder your fellowship with God (Mt. 5:23-24).
5. Don't focus on "getting your point across" or winning an argument, rather try to win back your relationship.

If you do that, you will be a peacemaker, and regardless of how the other person responds you will experience the peace of Christ in your own soul.

Prayer: Father, forgive me for not being as patient, kind, and gracious toward others as You have been toward me. Help me to forgive and take the first step toward reconciliation. Grant us Your supernatural peace.
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