Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Much like the Peacekeepers in Collins' novel, we are often fake and we only promote a false sense of "peace". We turn a blind eye to what is really going on around us because it is convenient for us to allow the behavior to go "unnoticed" so we don't have to say anything about it. Or we are too busy with our own agendas to have anything to do with it.
Don't get me wrong. Keeping the peace isn't about trying to watch everyone and make sure that they are towing the line or whatever other cliche you want to use. I actually think that there were times where simply letting things go does keep the peace. Just like how the Peacekeepers continued to allow Gale and Katniss to poach because it filled their bellies and provided for Gale and Katniss' families. That's really as far as that analogy goes though and I know it isn't perfect by a long shot.
But what I am getting at is that there is a right and wrong way to keep the peace in a church.
In Ephesians 4:3 God tells us to "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." What exactly does that mean?
I believe that in order to keep unity and peace in the church sometimes we have to swallow our pride and not say the things we really want to--even if they are absolute truth! Sometimes it is better to remain silent (Prov. 17:28). Does that mean that you let everyone walk all over you? No way! What it does mean is using wisdom and discernment when choosing when to speak and what to say and how to say it. I know this is really as clear as mud. For that I truly apologize. It's just so hard to get this out right.
Often keeping the peace relies on our ability to value others more than ourselves (Phil. 2:3). Ask yourself, "If I am brutely honest will I do more harm than good? Am I telling them this to build them up or to tear them down or to cause trouble? What are my motives?" I believe when we take time to stop and consider things then we are doing our best to maintain peace and unity.