Together: Peace Building in the New Year

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
— Psalm 133:1 (NIV)

About every 500 or 600 years, factors converge to bring about a reformation in the world. In 2017, we celebrated the 500th of the Protestant Reformation, and I’m seeing signs that the world is in a transition time at the beginning of 2018.

It isn’t as obvious in the U.S. because of a fiercely divided political climate.

However, when I travel to Food for the Hungry work zones in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, I encounter a new generation of leaders who are committed to working together for the wellbeing of others. Rather than moving in a self-protective, personal peace and affluence, I’m seeing leaders recognize that their wellbeing hinges on the wellbeing of those around them.

I find that encouraging.

As Psalm 133:1 promises, the Lord commands His blessing, goodness, and creativity to go to the places where people live and work together in unity and trust.

Jesus declared in the Sermon on the Mount:

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
—Matthew 5:9 (NIV)

In this passage, Jesus referred to people who foster relational trust and collaboration. At the beginning of this new year of 2018, that’s what I’m seeing in the places where Food for the Hungry works: peace builders. I believe God is asking us to perceive this thing He is doing in 2018 through peace builders. In my spirit, I hear Him saying:

I’m doing something new in your day and in your time. I’m calling people who understand the times and know what to do. Are you one of them?

I challenge you to seek the good of all in 2018. Rather than seeking self-protection, become a peace builder who intentionally fosters the wellbeing of others. Seek with whom you might collaborate for the hopes and dreams placed inside of you for your community – home, neighborhood, church, office, school.

In all you do, keep thinking how you can be a peace builder. In so doing, you and your community of co-peace builders are going to be recipients of God’s blessing.

Here are three simple steps you can take to become a peace builder in your community:

  1. Get to know people by name: your neighbors, your co-workers, other parents at your child’s school, etc.;
  2. Speak well of others, even when you disagree with them;
  3. Work together in unity toward the wellbeing of everyone, not just a select few.

Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!