Give peace a chance
“God helps those who help themselves.” That phrase has been repeated so often that many assume it comes from the Bible. It has a certain gut-level “truthy” feel to it, doesn’t it? It sounds like it could be one of the Proverbs, motivating people to get off their sofas and become go-getters. God said nothing of the sort. Not that he smiles on laziness, but generally we don’t need any encouragement to be self-seeking and aggressive on our own behalf.
Where we do need encouragement is in damping down our appetite for conflict, whether enjoying watching others fight or getting into it ourselves. We all know the mad fever of an adrenaline rush; we all love to be right; we all feel the need to “stand up for myself,” “don’t get pushed around,” “teach ’em a lesson.”
Here’s a better way: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). This is learned behavior—don’t assume that attitude will automatically appear in your brain. You need to choose Christ’s values and mission over Satan’s for your personal behaviors. Any fool can egg on a fight. It takes a Christ-follower to find joy in steering people away from conflict and toward reconciliation.
It takes a Christ-follower to admit one’s own faults, yield more than demand, and keep one’s voice soft. Go ahead, kids—try this at home.
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