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Making peace

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A friend made an observation earlier this week about the nature of peace:

“Sometimes we want to keep peace. But Scripture says we are to make peace. You keep peace by ignoring it. You make peace by addressing it.”

Keeping the peace implies peace is the default and not something that requires effort or forethought. We often speak about protecting a peace that is at best flimsy and too fragile to withstand a real storm or trial.

If we have to build so many walls and weapons in the name of peace, it probably isn’t true peace

The wars of the wicked things in the world do not damage true peace. In fact, true peace causes warring factions to put down their weapons and study war no more.

Jesus is the ultimate example of a peacemaker. Calming the storms as He and his disciples sailed the seas was an act of peace.

He was in the storm, not working so hard to protect Himself from it. He addressed the storm. He spoke within His authority as the Son of God.

However, what He did next is what gives hope that we also can call for storms to cease and wars to end. He asked the disciples why they were afraid and had no faith. They were so afraid of the power of the storm that they overlooked the power of the One among them who could make peace.

That power lives in each one of us. Jesus said that we would do greater works than He, and I believe that includes making peace.

We can address storms just as He did. We can stand and be steadfast in the middle of storms, knowing that who we are in Him is stronger than any wind and rain. We can stand surefooted on battlefields and call for an end to the war. At our best, in Christ, this is who we are.

The real trick of the enemy is not in creating chaos. This is the nature of evil, and we should expect it. It instead is making us doubt ourselves and our power to the point we build walls instead of bridges, that we run, be it in the form of “cancel culture,” escapism or plain distraction, instead of talking directly to the issue and cutting off evil at its legs.

The peace we’re trying to keep is an illusion. It is powerless. It is not built on the foundation of Jesus, and it will not withstand the storm. The facade of peace is useless in these times. Real peace can travel. Real peace permeates negative energy and turns it around. Real peace is a force just because it stands and will not be moved. Evil recognizes real peace and trembles because it knows defeat is imminent.

We wake up each day with a choice to be a vessel of war or peace. There is no in between.

If you don’t make a decision to fill yourself with powerful peace, a weapon of war will be placed in your hand.

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

LaMonique Hamilton is a Wilson resident and former Times reporter and copy editor. She is the national deputy director of communications for Repairers of the Breach and the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and blogs about arts and culture at iamlamonique.com. This column was originally published in September and appears again this week at the writer’s request.