“I am tired of living among people who hate peace. I search for peace; but when I speak of peace, they want war!”
— Psalm 120:6-7 (NLT)
This psalmist is singing and sharing their heart’s desire for peace. It’s hard being at peace, or even seeking out peace, when you’re in a difficult situation. Whether you’re being attacked, or you’re just being talked about, what does your heart desire to do?
Let’s make it more personal: What do you do when you’re seeking peace with your spouse, children, family members, co-workers, or even your friends, and they want war? It’s a challenging place to be. I’ve faced this type of situation more times than I would have liked, and I know that I haven’t always made the right choice in those situations. I haven’t even always desired peace when others came against me, but I know if I had sought out peace in those situations, and not invited war, the outcomes would have been so much better. Sometimes, we respond this way because of pride or the desire to be right or having to prove our point, which never brings out the results God wants for you in these situations.
Not long ago, I had a fresh realization of how my right response to difficult situations can have dramatic affects: For our six-year anniversary, my husband decided he would write ten things that he’s discovered about me that he loves. All ten moved me to tears (of course), but there was one in particular that spoke to me the most, and that I’ll never forget. He wrote, “Thank you for fostering peace in our home.”
When he wrote that, I was taken aback, because I didn’t really know what he meant. He went on to explain it, and in that moment, I realized that when I chose to seek peace and not war, when I chose to stay silent even though I may have wanted to yell and not show mercy or grace, not only was I bringing peace to our home, but also to our marriage, which has flourished into a beautiful thing. This realization makes me think about so many times when I’m in a moment where I want to lash out and war against others: The result of peace, the result of godly reaction and restraint, showing the fruit of the Spirit, is more beautiful than I could imagine, and it leaves a lasting imprint on others.
I want to be more like Jesus every day, and I desire to be a peacemaker that reflects Him in every way possible. Today, let me encourage you, if you’re struggling, if you’re angry and upset at someone in your life, ask the Lord to help you desire His peace daily, and, as one who serves Jesus, who humbled Himself, commit to humbly face your situation in those moments that can foster so much pride and anger. Let’s pray today that we will be a people who foster peace and represent the Prince of Peace in our homes and in our work places and schools.
Pastor Carolina Majors