used to think my job as a Christian was to keep everyone happy. I really did.
I was in college I had two friends who just couldn’t see eye-to-eye on
political issues. No matter the issue,
they fought about it. Me, thinking I was
being good and “peaceful”, would try to keep them from conflict. It sounds good, right? Keep the peace…
I created more tension in their relationship than if they could have just
learned to deal with their disagreements.
Instead, I just tried to keep them both happy and in the process
accidentally pushed both of them away from me.
this confusion we read Galatians 5:22-23:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and
self-control. Against such things there is no law”
we continue unpacking what this fruit looks like in our lives, we come to this
part about peace. I thought I was
showing this part of the fruit of the spirit to them but I wasn’t. I wasn’t really helping either one.
often said, “peace is not the absence of
conflict but the presence of Jesus through it.” I like that!
How often do we forget that and try to be a “peace maker” when in
reality all we’re trying to do is be a “peace keeper”? What’s the difference, you ask?
put: a lot.
making” means we are moving through
conflict and making, or putting together, peace. We’re not repressing or pushing aside
conflict; instead, we’re dealing with it head-on. We’re working through the problem and the
issue to make peace. We are making peace where there once was
conflict. By our Jesus-imitating nature
and the Holy Spirit in us, we are transforming conflict and hostility into
keeping” on the other hand is the cheap imitation of peace. When someone is “keeping the peace,” they are
seldom dealing with the issue. They are,
in reality, just trying to prevent conflict.
Is this healthy for us spiritually or emotionally? Rarely.
When we just keep the peace, we sometimes can refer to it as “not
rocking the boat.” In other words: don’t
make a stink, a fuss, a ruckus. This
forces us to cower back when we should stand up. This forces us to be quiet when we should
speak up. Ultimately, it exchanges the
peace Jesus offers us with more internal conflict.
said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for
they will be called children of God” (Matthew
5:9). I want you to really see what Jesus is saying here because Paul is
not telling us anything different. We
are blessed by God Almighty when we are peacemakers. When we resolve conflict around us, we are
most like the Prince of Peace, our Savior Jesus Christ. We look like Him the most when we move
through conflict and resolve it, not when we just try to “keep everybody
happy.” Jesus certainly didn’t keep
everybody happy and I don’t think any of us would call Him “unpeaceful.”
are challenged to look like Jesus in our conflict resolution—in making
gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger,” Proverbs 15:1 counsels.
These “gentle answers” are not political speech but are the diplomatic
skills we need to make peace where conflict once reigned.
not only gives us peace but also creates peace in us so that we, in turn, can
bring His message to the world and create peace between them and God. The flavor of this part of the fruit of spirit
of peace is one that might be bitter at first taste but ends up being a
deliciously sweet flavor to us and those around us.
In and out of situations
That tug-a-war at me
All day long I struggle
For answers that I need
Then I come into His
All my questions become
And for a sacred moment
No doubt can interfere
Through His love the
A place for us to rest
A place to find the
In hours of distress
There is never any
To give up in despair
Just slip away and
breathe His name
He will come and meet
In the presence of
God Almighty Prince of
Troubles vanish hearts
In the presence of the
the Presence of Jehovah”
Davis | Geron Davis
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