Some of the Best Known Writings on Peace

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Below are my personal paraphrases on some of the best known verses of the Bible written on peace:

 Matthew 5:21-25: In the past, you were taught, “Don’t murder; anyone who does will have to answer to the judge in court.”  But now, I’m going to say something that will totally shake you up: whoever is angry with another person will be brought before the jury.  Whoever calls another person a “worthless fool” will be asked to testify, and whoever goes beyond that will have their soul endangered.  So, if at any point in time you want to do something for God first consider if you have sin weighing down on your heart.  If you are so angry with another person that it would cause you to sin, make it right with them before coming back and giving your service to God.  God loves pure offerings, not ones steeped in hate or blood.  If you know someone has something against you, settle the argument before it gets serious.  It is better to solve the problem privately, than have everyone in the public world know about the issue.  If the public world knows about your anger, they will make you pay until there is nothing left to pay.  (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=%20Matthew%205:21-25&version=ESVUK)

Matthew 5:38-42: Throughout your entire life you have been taught to show revenge.  People have always said, “An eye for an eye, tooth for tooth.  Bruise for bruise, punch for punch”.  However, that’s not the way to do it.   I want you to know that revenge never solved anything.  If someone backhands you, make them have a real confrontation with you.  Ask them why they just did that, maybe they have a reason.  If they do, you can politely and professionally work it out together.  And if someone takes your shirt, offer to give them your coat.  They will be so shocked that they won’t know what to do.  When they are shocked then you have the perfect opportunity to witness to them.  If someone forces you to walk a mile with a heavy load on your back, offer to carry it for them a second mile.  As you are walking, get to know the abuser better.  The second mile is a wonderful opportunity to ask them what’s on their mind when they’re abusing others.  Maybe they have a reason.  If they do, you can be a good support to them and encourage them to seek God.  And anytime someone asks you for something, or wants your help be sure to give it to them.  Never withhold anything from them just because of their age, gender, or ethnicity, for it is through acts of service that we show God’s love. (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%205:38-42&version=ESVUK)

Matthew 5:43-48: Throughout your entire life you have heard people say, “Love your friends, and despise your enemies”.  Today I want to challenge that idea.  I’m telling you to love those who do wrong to you – love them like you would a brother or a friend.  Keep those who single you out in your prayers constantly.  If you do right to everyone, then God will always think well of you, for that is the duty of His sons and daughters.  God doesn’t show partiality to anyone, He doesn’t pick favourites.  The sun rises and sets on both the good and the bad, the rain falls on both those who do right and those who do wrong.  In the same way, all of His children are expected to show His love to everyone.  Why should you expect something special just for doing the standard thing?  Even nonbelievers do that!  And if you show special kindness only to your friends, what have you done that is really worth mentioning?  Even sinners do that!  Instead, God calls us to perfection; He wants us to be above earthly standards just like He is above the rest of society. (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%205:43-48&version=ESVUK)

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