Does being peace-filled, pursuing peace, and practicing a peaceful existence come with a benefits package? Apparently yes! We’ve already learned that being a peace broker can give joy (Proverbs 12:20). But one disciple of Jesus suggests two other benefits.
Peter in his first epistle offers, “For he that will love life and see good days…let him seek peace and ensue it.” (1 Pe. 3:10,11) Actually, he lists several practices that can help me love life and see good days: 1) refrain my lips from evil 2) speak no guile 3) eschew (deliberately avoid) evil 4) do good. But his last two pieces of advice regard the practice of peace. “Seek peace.” This means to plot to aim for or strive for peace. It implies effort. “Ensue it.” This older world use of this word ensue means to swiftly run after something in order to catch it, to seek something eagerly, or to endeavor to acquire a thing. Do I actively endeavor to acquire peace? Do I plot ways to end arguments for myself and others?
The words used to define this advice reminds me of a metaphor from my teen years. Our youth group loved to play the game “Capture the Flag.” This game involved seeking the flag hidden on the opponent’s side of the field and carrying it back across the border to our team’s side. It involved strategy and stealth and planning. I loved this game! And I ran fast to get away from a pursuing enemy. Sometimes my feet ran faster than my brain could guide, and I would stumble. But it was fun! Like peace, that flag was eagerly sought, and once it was found, the whole team rejoiced at the victory that was won through working together.
May we be as passionate about peace: aiming, striving, and running swiftly to catch it. Why would we desire strife? Outside, in the world is strife and chaos. But where I can influence, I desire peace: in my community, workplace, friendships, family, home, and soul. May we actively, purposefully “seek peace and ensue it.”