Friday, May 31, 2013

Blessed are the Peacemakers

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.  Matthew 5:9
Peace…what is it?  Is it the absence of conflict?  Or is it the active presence of God’s peace in my life?  The Hebrew word for peace is Shalom, meaning “nothing is missing and nothing is broken.  In Greek, the word is eiréné: (εἰρήνη, ης, ἡ), meaning one, peace, quiet, rest, cloth woven together and restored.
I think that peace is more of a proactive attitude than the absence of conflict.  Conflict is always going to be present in our lives.  My reaction to conflict, though is an action…an action of binding together God’s gift of peace, which I already possess, to my actions in the world.  I have a choice in my behavior.
Yesterday and today we are experiencing much wind in South Dakota….it’s an outside force of nature…nothing that I can control for sure.  Trying to harness the wind and it’s effects is pretty hard to do.  Most of the time, perhaps all of the time, it’s fruitless to try to manipulate, rearrange things so that the wind does not blow something across the yard. I’m spending energy battling forces that I don’t have any control over!
What other kinds of “wind” are there in my life?  Criticism, betrayal, hurtful words?  Often, my gut reaction might be to push back with more hurt, more criticism.  But does this help anything?  Instead, a response rooted in the peace that Christ has given us, will put the situation into God’s hands, not mine.  If I can cultivate this peace within me, not only am I more in tune with God’s will, but it will be evident in my actions.