On Control and Peace...
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Romans 12:18 (NIV)
Ever since I can remember I've been what you'd call a 'peace maker'. I 've never functioned well in an enviroment of discord and I cared deeply not only of what people thought of me, but of what they thought of each other. In my perfect world, everyone would love and respect each other and be at peace.
This did two things in my life. One, it constantly put me in the middle of arguments, and two, my efforts almost always backfired and made the situation worse. Each party would become upset at my involvement and many times conversations I meant for good ended up in gossip and defamation. I knew that this couldn't be what God intended and so I began to take a hard look at my actions.
What I realized was that my need for peace trumped anything that God was doing in and through the situations that surrounded me. Behind my need for peace and harmony was this; my need to control. If I couldn't fix it, if I couldn't control it, I wasn't happy. Is wanting peace fundamentally wrong? Abolutely not! The Bible clearly tells us that peace is not only a fruit of the spirit, but it's to be sought after. But using control and manipulation to get it is not only wrong, but it's also not really peace.
You see, the greatest lie about peace is that it depends on outside circumstances. This explains why many women and men fall into the trap of trying control others. But true peace, the peace that passes all understanding, the kind of peace that steadies itself when surrounded by chaos and discord comes only from the relationship between us and God. No one else can be responsible for our peace and happiness.
When we sow control and manipulation we reap death, but the same principle of sowing and reaping also applies to peace. When we sow peace into our own lives, we reap it. Proverbs 16:7 says 'When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.'
When we finally realize that our peace does not depend on others and when we finally learn who we're responsible for (ourselves), that's when we'll find true peace and real freedom.
*photo taken by Alex Headrick, all rights reserved.