During a documentary on World War I, the narrator said that if Britain’s casualties in “the war to end all wars” were marched four abreast past London’s war monument, the processional would take 7 days to complete. This staggering word picture set my mind spinning at the awful cost of war. While those costs include monetary expense, destruction of property, and economic interruption, none of these compare to the human cost. Both soldiers and civilians pay the ultimate price, multiplied exponentially by the grief of the survivors. War is costly.
When believers go to war with one another, the cost is also high. James wrote, “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?” (James 4:1). In our own selfish pursuits, we sometimes battle without considering the price exacted on our witness to the world or our relationships with one another. Perhaps that is why James preceded these words with the challenge, “Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (3:18).
If we are to represent the Prince of Peace in our world, believers need to stop fighting with one another and practice peace.