• Peace Really
Peace Really Comes in Small Packages
By June Narber
Got something on your mind? Do you have unresolved problems with a brother or sister in the faith? As we come upon the Passover season, we reflect upon the sacrifice of our Messiah (our Savior Jesus Christ) we find that that there are many things to think about. Among these are our own sins, human weaknesses, and our shortcomings of the previous year. What about that friendship that fell apart that you just can't seem to fix? Why hasn't Suzie returned your phone calls to try to resolve that personal conflict between the two of you? I don't know why we have these kinds of small issues that can't seem to resolve themselves, no matter how hard we try. I do know that sometimes we can do everything humanly possible and we can't get everything fixed in our own lives before Passover hits. I like to try to do this in honor of God's will when He says he forgives our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. If someone can't seem to forgive you for your weaknesses, you cannot force them. You can ask them seventy times seven. However, in some unusual cases, it does not matter what you do, how many times you say you are sorry, the other party just will not give in and speak to you to confirm that there is friendship or peace restored between you. Passover is a season that shows us peace. Love toward each other and neighbor is the start of Godly love and Godly "peace". Peace is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as: 1) The absence of wars or other hostilities 2) Freedom from quarrels or disagreements 3) Inner contentment; serenity; or "AT PEACE" meaning free from strife.
Jesus Christ is called the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Isaiah 32:17 tells us "And the work of righteousness shall be peace and the effect of righteousness quietness) and assurance." Christ, called the Prince of Peace, can also can be considered the source of true peace as when he returns to Earth, all Kingdoms and peoples will finally know what lasting peace is really all about. In Jude 1:2, it tells us that one of the results of working righteousness is peace. By putting into action all of God's teachings and laws in your life, it will bring forth the fruit of peace in your life, including your relationships. 2 Peter 1:2 "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord."
So you already know all of this. Why aren't things working in your life then? Think for a minute about what we said earlier. Sometimes we can do everything we can to make peace with others put they make it near impossible by refusing to respond to our efforts. Are you one of these people who refused to work out the difficulties with someone who is trying to reach out to you? Have you put roadblocks around yourself emotionally to the point that you might have a little self-righteousness simmering on your back burner and you may not even realize it? This is the time of year for you to really reach deep in to your heart, back to the person that makes up the REAL you. The person that no one really knows except your self. You MUST examine your own heart to know what unrepented sin still is lurking there. A bad attitude, reluctance to resolve problems with a brother may not really be classified as a sin by some, but it is a really big problem with attitude, which if not changed can lead to sin. If someone is reaching out to you, put your pride and ego aside and learn how to listen, to open up and acknowledge your own short comings and most of all, to be able to forgive others of the mistakes they have committed against you. You MUST do this if God is going to forgive you your own sins. That is what God's word tells me. You know this is true.
We cannot have true peace in our lives unless we have harmony in our relationships. No matter what someone has done to you, or what you think someone has done to you, it is not so big that it cannot be forgiven. Especially if the other party has repented of the sin and moved on with their lives. I wonder sometimes how many sins other people hold against other people that have already been repented of before God in private and FORGIVEN? This is getting into some frightening territory. As we cannot read other people's hearts and minds, we do not know what they have repented of. By holding grudges we are risking holding onto a misgiving or sin that has been covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. As a result, we are tarnishing our own relationship with God by our refusal to forgive. Please think about this. It is a problem deeply rooted in some of our lives and we MUST get it out of our own individual lives. No one can make you forgive and forget: you must choose to do this yourself. I will admit there are certain situations in which the pain someone else has caused us personally may not be forgotten. However, it can be forgiven. We don't have to let the same mistake be made again, or allow ourselves to be hurt. However it is just as evil for YOU to hold a grudge, to speak badly about what someone has done to you, as was the original action against you. Don't sin yourself in the process of trying to cope with a problem. If you do, try to work through the problem as quickly as possible. By harping about an issue for a long time and dwelling on spilt milk, so to speak, you are not helping yourself heal from the hurt or helping the problem to clear up. Take your problem directly to your brother as instructed in Matthew 18. If they won't listen to you, sit down and think long and hard about what the real issue is. Have they truly sinned against you or did you get your feelings hurt somewhere down the line due to miscommunication or otherwise? We must be totally truthful when we think about our personal issues, no matter how painful this may be. If we cannot be honest with ourselves and admit our own mistakes, how can we know for sure that we are dealing with the real issues in the original problem? Sometimes we can deceive our selves with over active imaginations or allowing faulty memories take hold over the real issues. Try writing down your problem on a piece of paper in outline form. Go through and identify the actual problem, whom it is with, and what actually happened. I hope this helps you, it helps me when I am trying to fix a problem or work something out whether a people problem or a problem in general related to work.
Peace comes to us when we are making peace in our daily lives with the simplest of things. By forgiving others; working through problems as quickly as possible; not harboring resentment or anger at someone for whatever reason; and are actively trying to solve our relationship problems, we are making peace with our fellow man and with ourselves. As a result, we have more peace overall in our lives by creating peace in these "small packages" we encounter on a day to day basis.
So, take out a sheet of paper and write down people you do not like. By each name, give a reason you do not like them. If you have a real disagreement with them write this down. If someone has said something you do not agree with doctrinally, write this down too. When you have done this, look at your list and analyze what you have written. We are all individuals and it is impossible for all of us to agree on every single issue. You need to realize as you look at your list that some of these things you dislike about the given person are not reasons that this person should be avoided, labeled, or disliked. Analyze whether you have a true problem with this individual and if so, reach out to them to fix it. If you disagree with something they said or believe, just remember that such issues are not grounds for labeling that person or spreading gossip about them, or even harboring bad thoughts toward them. We can disagree with others without sinning and without hating. That is what true maturity is all about. That is what Passover is all about: the forgiveness of sins; the community of the faithful; and what the big picture is all about.
By thinking through what we are feeling we are helping God to do His work in us. Peace comes to us as a PROCESS as we work through each situation in our lives as it comes to us. That is what the conversion process is all about. Those small packages of peace such as a restored friendship or a forgiven error made to us or by us are some of the greatest experiences we can have as human beings.
Copyright © 2010 June Narber, All Rights Reserved.