January is coming to an end. And what a January. As I evaluate the first part of 2022, the key word I see is ‘warfare’.
The obvious connection is Physical War: Ukraine. Europe is on a very dangerous precipice overlooking a dark valley. But not just Ukraine. China and Taiwan, Iran and Israel, North Korea and everyone … Border Wars: Texas and the southern border, Canada and the truckers and the Prime Minister, Europe, Asia, everywhere … Political Wars: reds vs. blues, moderates vs. progressives … Economic Wars: where so many battle for limited resources, the have vs the have nots … Cop Wars: shootings by cops and of cops, DAs vs the Blue … Culture Wars: the woke (like Hollywood and the media and activists) trying to change those with traditional values, schools taking on parents, urban taking on rural … and so on.
People battle on social media. People battle in the homes. People battle in the schools, the town hall, and the marketplace. Youtube banning those they disagree with. FaceBook has a jail. Artists refusing to share public forums with those they don’t like. Even Christian platforms are being filled with disharmony and antagonistic verbiage.
Warfare is more than guns and planes. It’s hearts and minds and attitudes and words. It’s damaging to countries, homes, relationships, lives. Some may think they are victorious and over-comers; but in the end, the cost is high.
Maybe that’s why Jesus challenged us all with His upside-down way of looking at life. The Beatitudes are a topsy turvy way of living.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.Matthew 5:9 (esv)
As we move deeper into 2022, maybe the second month can change. What would it be like if we took the word ‘peacemaker’ as our mantra? A month where we take on the characteristics of our Savior. He is the Prince of Peace – the one who brings peace on earth – the one who reconciles the world to Him. He brings peace with God … and … peace of God. WOW!
Maybe if we saw people … as those who are broken, just like we ourselves are broken … as those who are hurting, just like we hurt and need our wounds bound … as those who have a slanted view of a fallen world, like we without Christ have a slanted view of this fallen world.
If we saw people, people whom God loves, people whom Jesus came to die for, people who need Him … Maybe we wouldn’t talk warfare, we would talk peace making.
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
Push for Peace – love them the way God loves them, sacrificially
Pray for Peace – global and personal and, even, for your enemies
Put Bridges Up for Peace – prioritize building bridges and not walls
Put God First – if you do this, warfare may truly be replaced by peacemaking
What a February that would be. What a world that would be!
What will you do in February? What will you do today?