I read on Facebook about two young men who assaulted an older man at a petrol station in Rustenburg. Seven plates had to be used to rebuild his face. The security cameras recorded everything and all of Facebook was screaming for these guys to be apprehended. Rightly so. Why did these men have so much aggression inside them that they couldn’t stop and realise what they were doing?
But it not only happens out there. In many marriages things get very bad and the men take it too far. Rita (not her real name) had confided in me. Just one incident that she told me about was as follows:
In my marriage my husband can do what he wants, because he takes care of me. And with that I mean that he comes and goes without saying anything to me. I’ve always been loyal to him and have never cheated on him like he does on me.
Often I have to hear how fat I am, how bad my family is, that I mean nothing to him, that he can have someone better than me, and, and, and …
I forgive him, but it’s hard.
Why? Why do people do such things to one another? What gives men the power to be so aggressive towards women and old men?
We know we have to love one another. It’s an instruction and a verb. But it is accompanied by another command, namely peace. We must ensure that we keep the peace.
Do you hear the word “keep?” Yes, another verb. We must keep peace in our relationships: 15Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing.
We should print out this verse and put it up all over the place.
This verse doesn’t say that we will never disagree. No, it assumes that we will argue with one another somewhere along the way. That’s the way life is and as they say: It comes with the territory. We can’t avoid it. Our makeup is such that we will disagree and rub one another up the wrong way. We can’t stop it, but we can control the way in which we respond.
We have a choice: When we are at odds, will we choose the peace of Christ or the opposite?
They also say: The choice is yours!
How much better life on earth would be for everybody if we make the right choice! In our marriages, for Rita and her husband, for our employers and employees, and for our friends, and as I always say: Also for the stranger who now and then comes stumbling into our lives.
Come on, man, make the right choice, choose peace. God’s peace.
Where does your peace fail?
Why do you think that happens?
What can you do differently?
Lord, today You are once again talking to many of us. Your peace is so precious and we need heaps of it. But then life interferes and we forget about it. Please help us build a bridge and get over it! Amen.