Set the Tone | Community
“And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile…” Jeremiah 29:7
“I hate this town!” “I hate this state.” “I hate this nation.” We hear statements like these often lately from people who feel helpless about perceived wrongs they cannot right. It’s easier to blame a town, a state, or a nation for our frustrations than it is to admit that we may be part of the problem. God instructs His people to take a different approach. We are to view ourselves as ambassadors for His kingdom (2 Cor. 5:20), placed where He wants us for His purposes (Acts 17:26). Our King expects us to serve wherever He sends us, furthering His agenda, not ours. We can pout about how bad things are or we can get to work.
So what does it look like to “work for the peace and prosperity” of our communities? God sent this message to His people Israel while they were living as captives in Babylon. Their continued disobedience to God had earned them a harsh punishment. But even during the exile, God wanted them to prosper. They may have been tempted to grumble, “I hate this town! I hate this nation!” and with justifiable reasons. But that’s the lazy way. God’s way was for them to create peace and prosperity right where they were. They could make the most of their opportunities to get an education, develop skills, volunteer, and encourage fellow captives. Until they learned to bless the place they were planted, they’d be unhappy everywhere else. Complaining about our community feels justified, but God’s way is better: get involved in creating its peace and prosperity.
How are you working for the peace and prosperity of the place where God has planted you?
Father, I get frustrated with how things are. I think about how much better it might be somewhere else. But maybe you’ve got me here to teach me some things. How can I work for the peace and prosperity of my city? In Jesus’ name, Amen.