Peace Makers or Peace Fakers?

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Mathew 5:9)

This verse grabs me because I love peace. Rather, I adore peace while I hate conflict and trouble so much I’d love to just run when it happens. You know the fight or flight thing? Well, I’m definitely in the flight category.

But sometimes you can’t run and the unpeaceful  stands tall in your life no matter what you do. For those who hate conflict, this can be debilitating. And, guess what, we can join the false who cry “Peace, Peace” when there is no peace.

Jesus asks us to be peace makers; He never approved peace fakers.

20190309_125310.jpg

                    Even a peace maker at heart needs to learn not to fake peace.

Jesus didn’t put the burden of creating peace in every situation on our shoulders, but He did say we are blessed when we can, and we do. This means there are times when we can’t, and times when we can.

Peace makers dissolve fights willingly when they’re able to do so righteously; peace fakers pretend nothing is wrong even when something’s dreadfully wrong.

20190201_163241

Peace makers are humble enough to say “I’m sorry” first; peace fakers say “I’m sorry” just to cover up the problem and move on with the problem still staring her in the face.

Peace makers take the low road of acknowledging personal sin; peace fakers take all the blame, all the time, and pretend another has no sin even when they do.

20190202_122253

Peace making leads to life; peace faking leads to an artificial, superficial existence where the soul is stripped of true inner joy and you soon land, wounded and battered like this boat on the shore.

Blessed are the peace makers who create peace when possible, but never shoulder the impossible.

FB_IMG_1551250478980

Mothers, teach your kids to walk in truth, because only the truth brings ultimate freedom!

When Jesus encouraged us that the truth sets us free, He wasn’t just referring to the gospel; He wants us to own all truth, whether good or bad, painful or easy.

Owning reality helps us walk in clarity. Embrace the truth of your circumstance,             your trial, and allow it to lead you to the truth of God’s deep, deep love. 

20190202_133216

Denial leads to a false sense of reality, and a clouded reality leads to mental confusion. Embrace the truth of all things, then wrap it all up in the truth of God’s love for you in spite of it all. Your heart and soul will clarify as you refuse falsehood and embrace truth.

In this way, you ensure peace making for your own heart whether or not others create peace for you.

Faking it hard never meant making it well. Only truth (on all accounts) leads you to light.  

IMG-20190202-WA0014

    Walk in truth, and you will only go up, even when your circumstances are down. 

A Better Yes

I watched him zip out the driveway on his resale-shopped bike, pack on his back and helmet protecting his face.

He was biking fast. And, away from home. 

My heart dripped a little. But I’d rather have a bit of a mournful heart than a boxed in child who resents the lack of liberty in his home, and can’t wait to cut free.

pexels-photo-100582.jpeg

Because in this world, we have to say no to a lot of things. Are we also saying yes to a lot of good?

Just the other night I came home to a group of teens in the rec room, eating junk food and watching a clean movie. My mothering instincts wanted to say, “Toss the junk food and eat salad. Turn off the screen and read an inspiring book, instead.” But I zipped my lips, said hi with a smile, and left the room.

I’m thinking back to the Garden of Eden, when God created all things wonderful. Perfection was laid before the two first humans ever to walk the face of the earth, and the only “wrong” thing not to have was in the midst of the garden.

God duly warned them not to eat of it, and told them that on the day they did, they would surely die (Genesis 2:17). But first, he told them about all the wonderful things they could enjoy.

20180215_115622

 

Before he said no, he made certain they knew how blessed they were. He surrounded them with beauty, perfection, and life before he warned them of death.

Sometimes, I think we christian parents do the opposite. We warn much of death and don’t bring much life. The end result is unhappy kids who buck the law of our homes and often wreak havoc in others’ lives.

This is why my husband and I allow our twelve year old to bike away on a sunny day. Why we take our daughters to dance class.

This is why we bring home ice cream and drive the kids to the lake.

We want our kids to know that they are blessed, and life offers much good to enjoy. That when we say no, we also invite them to a better yes. 

Because God’s no to our hearts is never deprivation—it is an invitation to better things.

pexels-photo-1002654.jpeg

All desire for forbidden things is rooted in a God-given capacity for good things. The devil takes the good and twists it into bad, but if you allow yourself the good, your heart will be full and won’t need the bad.

Your teens may desire dating, which you forbid until they are older. Teach them that this desire for relationship is God-given, then lead them to healthy, clean friendships and fun with others.

Teach them that purity now leads to blessing later. That saying no for a little while means they can say a better yes for a long while.

pexels-photo-220836.jpeg

Teach them that watching only certain things can help them have a greater capacity to enjoy much better things. Our appetites are trained.

Mothers, be wise! Your kids need you to lead them to a better yes.

When it comes to wisdom, Jesus asks us to be wise as serpents. But when it comes to evil, he asks us to be as harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16).

He doesn’t just ask us to be harmless, he asks us to be full of wisdom, making the most of our time (Ephesians 5:16).

He doesn’t ask us only to die, he asks us to die so we can live abundantly (John 10:10).

See this—God always invites us to LIFE. And not only life, but abundant life.

He wants our joy to be full.

He promises that his yoke is easy (Matthew 11:30).

But we need to be all-out for him, fully engaged in Him. This doesn’t only look like denying ourselves, it means fully allowing ourselves to enjoy Himself and all His gifts. Most of all, enjoy Himself.

pexels-photo-226700.jpeg

                                                        Knowing Jesus is rich.

The son zooms away on his bike with all the strength of youth and vigor, and in my heart, I pray a shower of blessing over his head. Let him enjoy the blessings over his life, and then, let him walk in wisdom with a better yes so fully that the no becomes distant in light of better things.

Because God is all about our blessing. And he created a multitude of good trees in the garden.

pexels-photo-145685.jpeg