The world sees so much fighting. From the beginning there was combat. Cain killed his brother Abel, after all. They were Adam and Eve’s kids.
Four people in, and there's fighting.
I have two brothers, and took part in plenty of fighting. Growing up, my older brother and I fought about everything. My younger brother and I didn’t always fight, but there was contention. You live with someone long enough and there will be combat.
Our kids fight at home; it gets physical, with punching and pushing and kicking and pinching and yelling and tears. I want to run away when they fight. Their noise jangles my nerves. Their words hurt my heart.
My husband and I fight. I say something thoughtless and he reacts. He is insensitive and I'm hurt. I complain and he takes it personally. At the source our solutions are simple: I need to hold my tongue, or he needs to react less strongly. In every situation, we need to understand each other.
I am not much of a fighter. I’m soft with age, with mothering. I try to end it before it begins. I see things more and more in terms of peaceful opportunities. I’ve known a lot of people, heard about their hurts and why they fight against the world. Although made uniquely, at the core we are all the same. We have the same biological makeup. We all have good and bad feelings, and we are all created under the same sky and inhabit the same earth. I believe that we can be at peace, two at a time. I believe that we can do things peacefully if given the chance.
But life is hard. We are hurt, taken advantage of, experience violence, dry the tears of loved ones who have been harmed. We seek revenge. We hate. We become willing to fight to the death because of differences in beliefs, nations, skin color, gender, socioeconomics, or lifestyle. We fight out our differences in the streets, in the courtrooms, in the games arena, on the battlefield. Violence, like disease, has the power to twist a destiny. We employ verbal combat every day on the internet. We never waste an opportunity to fight with someone else because of what we perceive to be wrong, or stupid, or just to unload our frustrations onto an anonymous, unwitting recipient.
We say that we keep guns for protection, but ultimately, we keep them for killing.
It jangles my nerves. The noise – it’s too loud. My heart hurts.
I pray to God for peace a lot. Peace between enemies, peace within people’s hearts. In the same way I pray for peace in my own home when the noise becomes too much for me to bear, I pray for peace on the earth, between individuals who need to understand each other.
I know peace is unlikely in a grand sense - I’m not that much of an idealist. I know that this world is sinful and broken. From the time of Adam and Eve we’ve been faced with jealousy, hatred, and fighting. There has been war, there is war, and there will be war.
It is our human nature. But I like to think about what peace would really look like. I like to practice it when I can.
In a shrinking minority of peace-loving people, I am grateful that God is for peace, and that Jesus, the Prince of Peace, came here to pave the way for all of us to enter his Kingdom. I am grateful that even though our earth is not full of peace, someday it will be.
And that heals my heart a little.
For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross. Colossians 1:19-21 (NLT)
Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. 1 Peter 3:11 (NLT)
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18 (NIV)