I sat at our kitchen table as conversations swirled around me. There were empty pizza boxes, sticky bowls from ice cream, games waiting to be played, but what drew my attention were the soft voices of the three cousins I could see in our living room. I could tell by the looks on their faces that they were disagreeing about something – who got to jump on the mini trampoline next, maybe, or which video game to play. I sat back and waited for one of them to come running to ask me to decide who was right, but the yelling and crying never came.

In their frustration and disagreement, what won out was love and compromise.

For a five, eight, and ten-year-old to be able to navigate hard decisions and avoid divisiveness gave me such hope in a world that feels ripped apart. They reminded me that we can not get our way but still love others well. We can disagree and still have compassion. We can let go of a little bit of what we prefer to create room for others to join us. 

My daughter and her cousins know that their time to play together is limited, so they chose peace. The world is not our home, and our time here is not guaranteed – so why do we fight for anything other than unity and peace and community?

In our reading today, the author of Hebrews is coming out of his list of amazing figures of faith in chapter 11. Now that we’ve been given examples of people to imitate as we commit to digging deeper in our faith, the next step is to turn fully back to God. The audience for this book of Scripture had been slowly turning away from their faith, content to live at a surface level. This chapter of Hebrews encourages believers to be disciplined, pursue holiness, and live at peace within their Christian community. 

Just like Hebrews 11 gave us examples of faithful men and women, the author of Hebrews uses the example of Esau in today’s chapter to show the consequences of rejecting God and a lack of true repentance. Layman’s New Testament Bible Commentary says, “Esau had foolishly exchanged his future inheritance for the immediate gratification of his hunger. Similarly, the first-century believers were willing to trade what they had been promised for the readily available pleasures of the world.”

The hall-of-faith men and women of Hebrews 11 believed in God’s promises and His faithfulness, even though they never saw those promises fulfilled. Esau chose to take matters into his own hands and claim an earthly inheritance, which robbed him of the blessings God had for His children. We could fight for the temporary things of this world, or we can seek holiness, peace, and the everlasting kingdom of God. 

In the midst of the noise and the chaos, may we choose peace. May we choose to prioritize people over our personal preferences. May our lives be examples of love that encourage unity, gratitude, worship, and devotion to God. May we love God greatly.



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Crystal Stine

Crystal Stine

Crystal Stine is the author of Holy Hustle, Quieting the Shout of Should, and the Holy Hustle Planner. She serves as the Communications and Online Director for her church and has a passion for using social media as a mission field to reach as many as possible for Christ. You can connect with Crystal online at crystalstine.me, get a sneak peek of her first books through several YouVersion reading plans, or find her on Instagram @crystalstine. Crystal lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and daughter.

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