Swearing and cursing – no peace
Jesus’ greatest work on earth was that of reconciliation. 14The Messiah has made things up between us … and all over the place, around every corner, He looked for instances where He could make peace and did so. 15… He created a new kind of human being, a fresh start for everybody. 16Christ brought us together through his death on the cross. The Cross got us to embrace, and that was the end of the hostility.
I’m reminded of the prostitute that Jesus met at the well. Jesus didn’t take her out and bad mouthed her because she was a bad woman. No, in a good way He opened her eyes so that she could see exactly where she was going with her actions. But even more, Jesus helped her get peace, peace between her and God, but also peace in her own life as well.
It was very important to Jesus that there should be peace among people and between people and God. He would have given and done anything to bring that about. He was even prepared to give his own life. Which He obviously did do.
The question is whether you and I are prepared to keep the peace at all cost, to such an extent that we’d even give our lives for it? It might be a little difficult to answer this question honestly. Maybe it will be a little easier to die in ourselves bit by bit for the sake of peace there where we live life every day.
What does this mean in practice? Actually, it is very simple: Remove the own self from the picture. Look back at your life and at photographs from the past. Most fights were about things where you put yourself first. When my wife and I go through a rough patch, it’s normally because she wants one thing and I another, when we don’t see eye to eye. I want to convince her of my viewpoint and she me of hers. Neither wants to give in and there’s a little skirmish and peace is out of the door. But if one of us allows a little of ourselves to die, peace reigns.
Therefore, when we say we have to die like Jesus, it doesn’t mean that we have to be crucified or that we have to take our own lives. No, rather silence your own self a little. Let the others have their way. It’s not such a big deal. It’s actually worth it – for the sake of peace.
But we struggle to choose peace. I really identify with Susan:
You see, I got up this morning with the best intentions in the world, but when I got to my son’s room a couple of minutes later and he was still not dressed, I CHOSE to lose it instead of simply breathing deeply and keeping calm.
Needless to say, the rest of the morning was not pleasant. Eventually, I became so upset I could not even find the words to pray in the car. My two kids and I pray every morning in the car on the way to school – it keeps me grounded.
Now I’m sitting here so ashamed, feeling terrible, because this morning I had allowed the devil to get his claws into my life to such an extent that I couldn’t even pray!
We must choose to die in ourselves. Like Jesus at the well, we must choose not to judge and condemn, but to fight for peace with the wisdom that comes from Above. A little bit of yourself must die, repeatedly correcting, guiding, and trying again. Not easy! But for the sake of peace…
Where do you have to stand back a bit and die in yourself?
Where can you be the peacemaker?
What will it cost?
Father, thank you for your love! Thank you that I can learn about peace and peace making. Thank you that I do not need to be crucified and that You have already done it for me. But I do realise that I have to die in myself now and then. And that is not so easy to do. Please help me to do it. Amen