If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone*…it seems easy enough, right? But why is it such a struggle for humanity to live in peace. This is my second of three posts regarding the fruits of the spirit (joy and patience having already been posts) and for me one of the most perplexing. Why is it so hard to live in peace? Why is it so hard not to be violent to one another? Why?
I guess it all goes back to the beginning. Brother offer sacrifices, one is looked upon with favor, one wants what the other received and kills him for it. Violence enters the scene and since then we just can’t seem to get along. Our society has even come so far as to see violence as sport. Don’t get me wrong, I am just as guilty of enjoying a good football game, but where does it stop? From football to boxing, from boxing to cage fighting, from cage fighting to youtube videos of street-fighting, from street-fighting to gladiators in an arena killing each other…I even love the Christian R-Rated movie loophole, “As long as it’s rated R for violence and not sexuality or language it’s okay.” Really? Are we becoming so desensitized that blood and violence don’t disturb us. God’s response to the first violence, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground” – Genesis 4:10. Does blood cry out to us from the ground anymore or have we become so immune that wars and rumors of war do not shake us to the core?
Paul says, “as far as it depends on you”, but can we trust ourselves if we no longer have any measure of what peace looks like? Maybe it’s not just about the atrocities happening in some war “over there”, but maybe it is about the violence and bloodshed happening in our own back-yard. Where does it end? How do we become peace makers? God has gifted us and resourced us in amazing ways and we are called to live peaceably with all men. Now how do we help each other learn to live the same way? I am asking myself these questions even as I type them. What am I doing to create peace in my own life and in the lives of those around me?
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God. – Matthew 5:9
…I want to be called a child of God.
* Romans 12:18…there is some wonderful context around this verse as well.