It never ceases to amaze me how it seeps out in my words, my reactions, in my attitude. It always starts as an innocent thought, a sideways comment from a friend and I find myself mulling it over and over and over. When before I realize, its blowing up at a simple request like “mom, can I play outside?” Kaboom! Shrapnel everywhere leaving innocent casualties in its wake. It’s an all out war for the peace of friendship. I shove it back in and straighten the room, all the while still mulling. Only to have it implode at the touch of pin prick and I find myself pulling into the garage bawling my eyes out in a flurry of angry words.
Disappointment stings deep. Oh how even the hint of rejection puts fingers on triggers and wars begin raging within. Wars between my “I’m hurt” and God’s commission to “live at peace with everyone” (found in Romans 12:18). Battles between my “I want to run” and His “stand in the shoes of peace” and long disputes between my selfish, conditional love and His sacrificial and unconditional love.
I was ignoring this battle, shushing the headlines, and muting the casualty count until I read pages 81-84 in Never Unfriended.
“All throughout scripture we see how God is relentless in His quest to remake us in His own image, often through our relationships with other people.” (pg 77)
Like an imbedded reporter, Lisa-Jo gave me undeniable insight into this battle and it’s realities. Bottom line, I had let insecurity rob my surplus and instead of turning to my source, people were sources not reflections. I was arming up to demand peace be imported from somewhere else.
“Choosing to see people as holy reflections of the God who made them to be loved, cherished, and encouraged will change everything when it comes to how we interact with them. We can see people for what we can get out of them or for what we can give to them. We can see people as a source of influence, prominence, cool, or competition. Or we can see them as family, sisters, fellow pilgrims on this journey as we try to make sense of the everyday…. But we can’t do both. We can either love them or compete with them. We can either champion them or condemn them. We can either accept them or try to change them. We can either love them for who they are or try to twist them into our own image. But we can’t do both.” (pg 84)
It’s war-like to try to do both. And if you aren’t careful, the negative side of those choices will deplete your resources and make enemies of your friends. Here’s the deal. When those wars break out, it is an indication of one thing, and one thing only: I have removed the King from His throne at the very core of my heart.
Signing for Peace
There’s a verse in Psalms that says: “The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever. The Lord gives strength to His people; He blesses His people with peace. (Psalm 29:11) That word “peace” is from the Hebrew word Shalom.
But Shalom is more than the absence of war. It is more than the silence of conflict.
Shalom means wholeness. Completeness. Well-being.
He came to give us Shalom. He came to make us whole and complete. Being whole means living with a whole heart and an unending source for well-being. Jesus is the Prince of Shalom, and His love draws me into complete relationship, unconditional and unending. It is a sacrificial love, but it is freely for me. As He is enthroned as my King, my Prince of Peace, I can live at peace. And If I can live at peace, I can give peace.
“Because choosing this hard and deliberate course of being peacemakers is to walk in the footsteps of the God-man Jesus. The shalom maker who actively, deliberately stepped into every day of His life on earth choosing our well-being over His own…. That is the gospel. We are at peace so we can be peace. We’ve been invested in so that we can invest.”pg 82
I have not been rejected by my Prince of Shalom. He is my source, my steady ground. I have His shalom, so I can share shalom with others.
Friends, this book is a MUST read. It has been freeing, convicting, and life changing for me. So much so I am giving away TWO copies. I will draw names from those that have commented on my Never Unfriended posts (click here and here to read previous posts). So leave a comment and get your name in!! The winners will be announced on Facebook on Friday, April 14th.