At some point in time, we became a chalkboard family. We have more than one large framed slate on the walls in our house, and my wife, Cris usually keeps them adorned with scripture verses. One particularly large chalkboard in our family room has had the same verse on It for several years. While our other chalkboards are regularly erased and re-lettered, this one is permanent. Whether intentionally or accidentally, this board was lettered in chalk paint, not chalk. As such, I have had a long time to meditate on the verse that is emblazoned upon it.
Psalm 34:14b “Seek peace and pursue it.”
It is a great verse to reference when our kids are struggling with difficulty in their friendships, or irritating each other.
I recently unpacked the words ‘seek’ and ‘pursue’ with my 13 year old son, Tate.Like most good and godly things, peace isn’t something that happens accidentally. It isn’t the reward of passivity or the prize of apathy. It is something that is elusive. We have to chase it down. – Chuck Peters Click To Tweet
Like most good and godly things, peace isn’t something that happens accidentally. It isn’t the reward of passivity or the prize of apathy. It is something that is elusive. We have to chase it down.
On the surface the words seem redundant, but seeking and pursuing are not just two ways of saying the same thing.
Seeking means “looking for” or “searching out.” When you play hide and seek, the person who is ‘it’ actively searches to find the hiders. This seeking can be slow and quiet and discreet. It may involve listening carefully and walking on tip toes. It is focused and intentional.
Pursuing implies “running after” something. This is what you do when you’re playing tag. The one who is “it” runs hard after the person he is trying to catch. It is fast and loud and energetic and tiring.
As I have pondered this passage I have been struck by this profound reality: You catch what you chase. You possess what you pursue.
What are you seeking and pursuing today?
Many of us are chasing after things of the world: Positions and possessions and persons and pleasures that are not appropriate for us to pursue as children of God. Some of these things are dangerous and detrimental, others are empty, some are sinful.
A harder truth may be that many of us aren’t chasing anything at all. Too many Christians, even in Ministry, are characterized by disinterest, apathy and laziness. We coast through life, drifting wherever our circumstances take us, never setting a purposeful course. Maybe you feel tired, defeated, or depleted. Maybe you have lost your passion. If so, you need to find it again.
We have an extremely important mission to fulfill, and time is not on our side. Life is short. Eternity is long. A lost and dying world needs to know the forgiveness of Jesus. Broken people need the salve of the Savior. Let’s be people who are driven to serve others, not just please ourselves.Broken people need the salve of the Savior. Let’s be people who are driven to serve others, not just please ourselves. – Chuck Peters Click To Tweet
We can’t afford to be passive. We must be determined to doggedly seek and pursue godliness and purpose, not just pursuing a vague concept or feeling of peace, but Jesus, the very Prince of Peace. Paraphrasing Matthew 5, when we seek and pursue Him and His kingdom, and lay hold of a right relationship with Him, all of the other things we want will either be added as a bonus, or won’t matter anymore. Paul reminds us that our peace comes from Jesus. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1.
Let me challenge you to reset your mind and refocus on your mission.
Let’s chase excellence. Let’s pursue faithfulness. Let’s run after character, and kindness, and loyalty, and integrity. Let’s actively seek (and offer) forgiveness, and gentleness, and goodness. Let’s seek and pursue Jesus.
In light of these thoughts: Chase something! But, be careful what you chase. You just might catch it.
Chuck Peters is Director of Lifeway Kids. Before his role at Lifeway, Chuck had a prolific career in television and video production. He is a 3-time Emmy Award Winning producer, director, writer and on-screen talent. A graduate of Columbia Bible College, Chuck, and his wife, Cris, have served in Student and Children’s Ministry for many years.