We are called to be ‘peacemakers’. But what is Peace? How is it defined? Is it the absence of conflict or is it the aggressive actionable stance of creating relationship?
We are all ‘a chip off the block’, fragments of God, with jagged edges and jigsaw puzzle pieces. But when we come together as a family, with mother, father and children, we smooth these edges and become more like God. The pieces fit together to make a larger more whole piece closer, more like, the image of God. When we fragment the family, our edges are sharper, more pronounced, and our piece withers in a kaleidescope of warped imagery.
Peacemakers do not avoid conflict they confront it with love and compassion, they resolve it and use the strength of God to absolve the issue each and every time. To hold it like a knight, not a coward, to seek the truth within the conflict and make it known. This world we live in is an example of what it means to not face the truth, because it is the truth that will create peace. Taking responsibility. Owning what is your sin. Looking at the log that gauges your eye.
The UN was created in 1945 to end conflict and bring peace to the world. But it has failed miserably. In fact, between 1946 and 2013, there were 331 incidences of armed conflict. Why? Because the method, the rationale for prevention is not rooted in the core cause – individual emptiness, a Godlessness that permeates the very heart and soul of humanity. How can we possibly stave off conflict if we don’t address the truth of the cause?
When I Googled, ‘how to achieve peace’, most of the entries were Buddhist in nature and reflected a desire for inner peace. There were a few political adjuncts that claimed peace was achieved through freedom and a barrage of solid rules imposed by government. Other sites stressed ‘the avoidance of war’ as a means of peace. Still another site claimed that satisfying one’s own desires first will ultimately lead to peace with others. YIKES!
But men are flawed, and when they rely on their own person to achieve that which has never been known to mankind, they will fail. Again and again. And yet, we continue to believe that man is the solution. That avoidance is the solution. That independence is the solution. That if we avoid conflict, it will disappear.
Ten thousand years later, it still has not worked. So why do we keep butting our heads against this wall of thorns when it has never worked?
The false premise is that since man is the creator of chaos, man must be the source of peace. From the outside. But it cannot happen when the outside is ruled by pride and arrogance and vengeance and immorality. It simply will not work.
Then of course, there is the step-by-step instructions on how to achieve peace with ‘no compromising’ being fundamental to the doctrine. But ‘no compromising’ begs pride, arrogance, rightness, the moral depravity that creates the conflict in the first place. It is a very naïve approach to a very complicated issue. Recently, my husband invoked the ‘Christians don’t compromise’ doctrine in the midst of a fight. Really? I had to look that one up.
The first problem came up in the definition of compromise. Some believed it to mean ‘caving in’, while others observed that it was a give and take, a leaning in and out. I suppose they are both right in a sense, but circumstances are so diverse and broad, an absolute is definitely NOT the rationale.
Biblically, the phrase, “Christians Don’t compromise”, is addressed in the Bible, but it is in the context of there is no compromise with regard to God. No compromise with regard to the commandments of God. And no compromise with regard to sin. It’s a bit like the statement, “I’m sort of pregnant”. You can’t be in a gray area within these black and whites. But that does not mean that there aren’t vast gray areas of issue to mediate within Christianity that are a product of individual circumstances. So to make the statement in the context of a marriage dispute is somewhat …well, out of context.
My husband attempted to invoke ‘truth’ as his and his alone within the frame of not compromising. Truth belonged to him and no one else. Uh oh… And in so doing completely missed the point. There are hard truths, absolute facts, and then there are perspective truths, subject to interpretation. By invoking his truth, he was avoiding conflict (his fallback) by refusing to hear me. In so doing, we had no peace, what we had was a dictatorship rule.
While this earth may never find worldly peace, we are still called to understand that we must try. We are called to try as peacemakers. Not peace as a form of government rule and protocol and doctrine and punishment and judgment, but peace that is based on the values and morals and integrity and spirituality of God and His Word.
And ultimately, Peace will only be had when we have Truth – not your truth or my truth – but THE Truth.