How to Find Peace
To travel somewhere that is not one’s home is quite a privilege. Whether it is a friend’s house across town or to another country, you are being allowed into a culture that is not yours. I have found that it is good to listen and observe in these moments out of respect to others. I was very fortunate not very long ago to be able to sit in a hotel in Jerusalem and hear a talk given by an Israeli politician and a Palestinian leader. In the most divisive and seemingly irreconcilable place on earth, I listened as the two men showed one another respect. However, at the end there was a sadness that overwhelmed the room because both sides had very good reasons to support their cause.
Greater minds than mine have sought to broker peace in this region for decades and have been unsuccessful. It reminded me of families that I have counseled and church spats that I have refereed. Both sides are protecting their own interest. While I understand that in my human self, I see something radically different in our call to Christ.
Peace according to Jesus comes when we surrender to Him and come together seeking His will for us all. The commonality here is division being undone by a shared goal…that goal being to please God and follow Him. Wait! But what about when two sides are fighting over what they believe to be God’s will? At the heart of these historical and contemporary battles, there is still the common enemy of selfishness. If it were not so then we would have no problem loving our enemies and treating those with different views as we would want to be treated.
Peace means giving up. Total surrender. Once we do this and realize that we are participants in His death and resurrection, then it is revealed that we do not easily take offense. If we are not offended, we do not respond out of pain. Instead, we as Christ’s image bearers respond with the love which He has freely given us. That love is the foundation and beginning of true peace.