Today’s Prayerpoint ~ Keeping the Peace
Do you have a peacemaker in your home, office, or life? Do they have a tendency to work hard to smooth things over so everyone appears “happy”? Is that what “peace” really looks like? Shouldn’t “peacemaking” be about hearing conflict and resolving conflict and not pretending conflict doesn’t exist?
Most people don’t like conflict but emotionally healthy people know how to deal with it. You can challenge me on this point but people who often work really hard to “keep the peace” don’t know how to deal with conflict and so they fear conflict. They appear to be peacemakers but their desperate need to avoid conflict creates conflict. Lots of conflict.
Stay with me here.
Conflict is inevitable. People are human and we have different goals, dreams, desires, and ways we see the world. I have never been in complete and total agreement with anyone in my life. And if you were honest, you would admit the same. Some differences do not create big problems – whether I like the blue car or the red car doesn’t usually really matter unless we are married and we are buying one car that we need share and you absolutely hate the color I absolutely love. What does the peacemaker do in that situation? They need to give in unless their passion is so strong they cannot or find an acceptable resolution that both parties can agree to.
If you have a tendency to be a “peacemaker” stop and consider how you respond in situations. In your rush to create peace are you creating more conflict? Lack of observable conflict and peace might look similar but they are very, very different. Please work to truly hear the issues of conflict because surrendering to keep the peace or always making others give in to “keep peace” doesn’t mean there is truly peace. You can say “The Emperor has new clothes!” but it doesn’t make it true! It is always better to get to the root of the conflict even though it often takes time and energy.
In Jeremiah, there is a verse that has always stuck with me and I think it fits these types of scenario well.
Jeremiah 6: 14
They dress the wound of my people
as though it were not serious.
‘Peace, peace,’ they say,
when there is no peace.
May you seek true Peace from the Peacemaker!
Stepping out of your comfort zone can be both energizing and terrifying at the same time. If you are entering uncharted waters, pray for God’s direction. And don’t be surprised if it takes you years to understand the why behind the what!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 NIV
There are some times when I am unsettled on a matter. And yet if I always wait to be at complete peace before I move forward on something, there is a likelihood that I won’t move forward. Ever. I always have too may “what ifs” running around in my mind.
But the peace of I think of when it comes to the idea in Galatians is something more like “it is well with my soul”. Having peace about a matter. A Mirriam-Webster definition says this about peace: freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions. Sometimes those disquieting emotions are cautions from the Holy Spirit. But when I think of oppressive, I immediately think about Satan and how he uses things from our past to disrupt our present and future.
Have you made peace with your past?
If there are unresolved things in your history, you can be sure they are impacting your now. It is important to let God work in and through whatever is causing your unrest. Let Him bring you His perfect peace. Remember, Jesus is the Prince of Peace.
Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 2 Timothy 2:22-23 NIV
Have you ever noticed it is really hard to find a quiet place to be with God? There always seems to be some level of sound; the furnace fan, the hum from an electronic device, a drip, drip, drip from a faucet, or a bird chirping. Sometimes our minds have a difficult time finding quiet because so many things call for our attention and we mentally run through to-do lists. Distractions are everywhere but are reduced significantly if we at least find a quiet place.
Not too long ago, there was a time when stores weren’t open on Sunday. Youth sports events were never held on Sundays. Families stayed home and had a day of quiet. Sunday was a day of Sabbath rest. How quickly it happens that every moment we have is filled with busy-ness and noise. Are we so busy that we don’t have time to take a break?
Let me encourage you to take some time today to be still with God. Just you and God and your Bible. It is hard to steal away those moments, but it can be such a time of refreshment, honesty, insight, and peace. Let God speak to you through His Word. Let Him shed a new light on your circumstance and breath His Spirit into your soul.
Remember, we are human beings, not human doings….take time to be with God! Be refreshed, renewed, and encouraged. Take refuge in Him!
Psalm 16 is a great Psalm to ponder!