What is peace, and how do I get there?
This week hasn’t gone the way I wanted it to. It has been full of conflict, of emailing with a friend whose family is falling apart, of broken relationships, and sleeping too late because of a power outage that nixed my alarm clock.
Shaun Groves‘ blog was a good reminder today about what peace is and how we choose peace. These are the steps he gives:
Dealing head on with the desires in me that are the root of our conflict.
- Prayer & Community
Examining before God and in community where those desires came from.
Confessing the broken places in my life and my relationship with God that feed those wrong desires. Confessing the bad behavior those desires led to.
Seeking and receiving forgiveness from those I’ve hurt.
Turning away from those old destructive desires and their resultant bad behaviors and toward their opposites.
- Fast & Fully
Doing all of this quickly and thoroughly so that no bitter root grows up and so fractures Christian community that others can’t see Christ in us.
- Moving On
Refusing to replay and ruminate on the past. This is most difficult for me when I think I’ve done the work of peace making but peace has not been reached. It’s then that judgment and pride are easily fed in me and the cycle of wrong desire and bad behavior has a chance to begin again. But Paul writes: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18) and “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone…” (Hebrews 12:14).