Listing By Titles Old Testament References New Testament References
Cross Symbol

Directions for Living in Peace

A Commentary by Constance Vanides

It sat for the longest time, the Mourning Dove there on the limb, quietly gazing in my direction as I moved about inside the house.

"…and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him." (Matthew 3:16)

It was a peaceful scene, no other birds scurrying about to disturb the tranquility of the moment, just the dove, ignoring the lightly-falling rain and looking through the window directly at me.

How could I escape its gaze? Steady beady eyes, serene, catching my attention as if to remind me of the Spirit's constant presence.

"This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:17)

Usually in pairs, Mourning Doves are often satisfied to eat what's on the ground. Even smaller birds are not intimidated with the Doves' presence. Doves seem to exhibit no threat to anyone. "Peace" is the applicable name given to these calm gentle birds.

Contrast this with the Blue Jay. Although I can admire the bright colorful plumage, at the same time its belligerent behavior with "birds of a different feather" is a reminder of how some people act, evidencing the "me first" attitude so prevalent in the world today.

While demanding a lot of attention with their colorful, swift and noisy ways, Blue Jays scare away smaller birds, beating them to the seeds we set out for all the hungry birds. They remind me of self-centered people, who show little care or consideration for others.

God's manual for our lives, the Bible, shows us how we are to act with those around us.

"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others." (Philippians 2:3, 4)

"He must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:30) are John the Baptist's words that emphasize the same truth in his relationship with Jesus.

More instructions are given through the Apostle Paul on how to live our lives with others, worthy of God:

"Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another…" (Romans 12:10)

"Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another." (Galatians 5:26)

"Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all." (1 Thessalonians 5:14, 15)

What type of a bird do you wish to emulate? Do you primarily show the selfish traits of a Jay? Or can you be the gentle innocence of a Dove in your relations, bringing peace to those around you? Ask God to show you how.

 Archive Page
© Constance Vanides