Thursday, March 1, 2018
Read Matthew 5:9 (NLT)
God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.
The KINDNESS of PEACE
Peace is not the absence of conflict. Kindness is not accepting anything from anybody so that there can be peace. That is not peace, but it is a conflict avoidant niceness, masquerading as peace.
At the outset of World War II, Nevel Chamberlain, then Prime Minister of England, sought peace by appeasing Hitler and later sought to negotiate peace with Hitler through the Italian Fascist Dictator Musolini. President Roosevelt wanted to maintain peace by avoiding the European conflict altoghter. He abandoned England, France and our allies until war hit our shores in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. Appeasement and avoidance of conflict will not create peace. Winston Churchill said: “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile—hoping it will eat him last.”
Let us say then that peace often involves work and sometimes a treacherous fight.
St. Augustine (354-430AD) said:
“There is in the inner person a kind of daily quarrel; a praiseworthy battle.”
We don’t often look at quarrels or battles, inside or out, as “praiseworthy.” But he goes on to say,
“…the battle keeps what is better from being overcome by what is worse. The conflict is to keep [inappropriate] desire and lust from conquering the mind and wisdom.”
What he is describing is a peacemaker. Working for inner peace and peace with men and women means seeking what is better, what is healthy, holy and good for ourselves and others.
The enemy longs to disrupt our peace by corrupting the good and glorious image of God in us. Peace means fighting for that better part of me – the part made in the image of God, filled with His power, goodness and His kindness that leads to peace. The battle for peace is real, both inside and out. But in Christ, the battle is already won and His love – a love that overcomes all our sins – is that which will satisfy our deepest desires and cause peace to permeate the broken world.
Father, let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me. Give me your grace and strength today to stand, in you and with you, for what is right and good, both within and with those you divinely set in my path today. Amen.