Peace over Harmony
Peace on earth. World peace... so many have worked for this, and still do today. But what does true peace really look like -- whether related to racial relations in America, or even within a family?
Some people think that peace is about harmony, and so they seek to avoid all conflict. When somebody expresses anger or judgment, they leave the scene as quickly as possible. When there is tension in the room, they suggest, "Let's all just move past this, and get along."
How did your family deal with conflict, when it arose?
Jesus Christ said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." Peace is important to God. But Jesus didn't avoid conflict or tension -- he actually confronted a lot of people about things that were corrupt or unhealthy! He believed that true peace was the restoration of health and wholeness in relationships and the world.
Think about the biggest advocates for world peace throughout history, like Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. They were non-violent in their methods, but did not shy away from conflict or opposition. They fought for what they believed in, and endured great suffering and discomfort so that their people would receive more dignity and respect.
What issue in the world would you be willing to fight for? What relationship in your life do you wish were more healthy or whole?
God's heart is to restore health and wholeness in relationships, and the most important relationship is between him and us. That's why he offers forgiveness and restoration for anybody who desires a relationship with him -- even for those who have done horrible things or have rejected God outright. He wants peace with men, so they might be at peace with each other and also with the world.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken downin his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
“Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hate. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.”
Corrie Ten Boom
“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”
Martin Luther King Jr.
How does this fit into the bigger picture? What might this mean for my life?