PEACE IS A GODLY VIRTUE, A FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Colossians 3:12-15.
Verse of the Day: “When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
“You just don’t understand!” Isaac told his foster mother, Rhonda. He crossed his arms on his chest and glared stubbornly at the wall.
“Well,” Rhonda answered calmly, “why don’t you help me to understand?”
Isaac shrugged. “You don’t know what it’s like to go to that school,” he said. “The only way to get respect is to show everybody that you’re bad, that nobody better mess with you.”
“So now that you’ve gotten into three fights in the past two weeks and have been suspended twice, everybody knows that you’re bad, right?”
“Right,” Isaac said, nodding confidently. “It’s the only way to keep people from dissin’ me.”
“So why do you still get into fights?” Rhonda asked sweetly.
Isaac stopped nodding. He peered suspiciously at Rhonda. “What do you mean?”
“If getting into fights gets you the respect you want, then you should have everybody’s respect by now, right? But fighting isn’t getting you respect. It’s just getting you into trouble.” She paused and leaned forward until her face was just inches from Isaac’s face. “Isn’t it?”
“What am I supposed to do, then?” Isaac asked.
“You won’t like the answer. It’s too hard. I don’t think you’re tough enough.” “What?” Isaac said. “I’m tough enough.”
“It takes more strength and courage than you’ve got. It takes God’s strength to live in peace. That means you’ll have to pray a lot, and ask God to help you every day. I just don’t know if you’re ready for that.”
Isaac looked defiant. Yet he knew that his foster mother was different. She didn’t use bad language. She always got along with the people in the building. Even crabby, old Mrs. Williams, who did nothing but complain.
Once he had seen Rhonda step between two men who were arguing in the hall. Isaac had been afraid she would get hurt, or that the men would tell her to back off. But they had actually listened to Rhonda. They seemed to respect her words of peace.
That’s the kind of respect I want, he thought.
Isaac’s expression softened suddenly. He locked gazes for a long time with his foster mother. “I think I am,” he said in a soft, but strong, voice.
TO DISCUSS: What does it mean to “live in peace”? Is your life peaceful? If not, what has to change for it to be filled with the “peace of Christ”?
TO PRAY: “Teach us, Lord, to live in peace with others. May we be filled with the peace of Christ.”