First keep thyself in peace, and then shalt thou be able to be a peacemaker towards others. A peaceable man doth more good than a well-learned.
It gnaws at me after a discussion and I work for weeks trying sort it out through writing. Document after document, word after word, tapped out, deleted, and restyled, I wade through the thoughts that keep coming at me to get to the core of what struck me.
More to the point: the difference between peacemaking and peacekeeping.
Even more to the point: where am I prone to take the easier path of keeping the peace and how can I move forward, with integrity, as a peacemaker.
Peacekeeping, the path of least resistance, passively avoids conflict. It treasures surface peace over lasting and real peace. It doesn’t solve anything; it just masks things.
Peacemaking requires more.
Make. To cause something to exist or happen; to bring about.
Peacemaking is creating space where words and actions honour the truth that every human being is created in the image of the Creator. It speaks up, respectfully and directly. It holds others to account; it holds ourselves to account.
Peacemaking is doing the hard, and sometimes messy, work of reconciliation. It requires courage and vulnerability. It seeks to understand. It respects the right of every other person to have a different opinion; it seeks commonality amidst controversy. It is gentle with tender hearts; it understands the truth that we all carry a measure of hurt within.
Peacemaking is the better way. It’s the right way. It is, for sure, not always the easy way but it’s the way of integrity and the way of lasting change. It is the way God calls us.
I can choose to speak (or write, or post, or tweet) in such a way that contributes to the anger and, sometimes false, rhetoric or I can choose the better path of peacemaker.
I haven’t always; I don’t always.
But I can.
And I should.
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Here are a few things I came across this week that are worth reading.
Oh the quiet times; those precious times when the still, small voice whispers. “That’s what our devotional times are for. Not just to check a box, work through a reading plan, or maintain a routine. But to behold and be still.”
Yes, it’s true. We do learn most in the valleys of life. I wish it wasn’t so but it is. “We have to find gold in the hard and painful stuff we walk through. Otherwise, we harden. We grow bitter. We fail to learn. We withhold forgiveness from the very person who needs it most in order to thrive: ourselves.”
I’ve always been a hardcore morning person, doing my best work in the early hours. We’re all different though. “Once you are clear on your why, you can get more clarity on your want. Once you are clear on your what, you can get more clarity on your when.”