Are you a Peacemaker or a Peacekeeper? Yes, there's a difference and no, I didn't realize that at first either. Not only do I love, need and crave peace, I flee from not-peace as quick as someone who's just touched a hot skillet!
In my younger years I didn't know how to be a real Peacemaker. Come to realize I was a Peace-keeper. someone who desires to keep the peace often by escaping or avoiding the confrontation, or controlling it fully. I was an avoider. I ran from chaos and conflict, physically leaving a situation when I could. When I was a stuck, my anxiety shield popped up which was an invisible shield creating space between me and "them." It's also called disassociation. As an empath, shy girl, someone who was always anxious and afraid, I understand how to disconnect, guard and block...skills I developed through my anxiety growing up. What the enemy meant for evil, God uses for good.
As a person who is shy and has thorns of insecurity and anxious thoughts, we avoid chaotic and intense environments at all cost. If a person or place doesn't feel safe to us, we escape. When we can, we avoid the conflict, keeping the peace through leaving however we can. Most often, not saying how we really feel, in order to keep the peace.
One of my mentors called it False Peace. Because the perceived peace is not real peace. Peace is love and truth and when we don't express that, we are not expressing peace. Am I Professional Counselor? No. I am sure there are tons of articles and studies out there you may find incredible conversations and thorough breakdowns of words, meanings, habits and characteristics. I am not here to be that!
I am here to encourage the shy, insecure Introvert Sister who has so much to say, but won't say it. There's a line between choosing self-control in order to not enter in to a foolish conversation, and of being a doormat, passive, choosing to not saying anything, as if your words don't matter anyway.
Here's what is sad but true... it's often easier to just be quiet and let the loud ones, be loud. With anxiety, our minds already are firing off, so to be amongst the loud is overwhelming and we tend to shut down by nature. It takes great strength and focus of mind and body to engage under normal circumstances much less intense ones!
The enemy would love for us shy girls to get overwhelmed and anxious, keeping quiet in the name of keeping the peace...false peace.
Jesus didn't sit back and say nothing. He came to give us Peace inside Truths. Truths in love at that! Jesus is Perfect Peace and this is what we need. We need Peace. The world needs Peace too. He also brings Authority, Courage and Power. Nothing can separate us from Him and in Him, we have the same power within us. Trust His timing and purpose in all things.
I feel like we have two take aways with understanding peace...
1.) Peace is a Person. His name is Jesus, the Son of God who came to set us free from death...His truth divides truth from lies, good from evil. The world needs truth in order to find Peace. Love dwells within peace. Chaos dwells outside of truths as people seek to find it.
2.) We can extend Peace and embrace Peace. As Christ Followers, we know there is perfect Peace found in Him because He is truth and nothing evil is within Him.
When we extend Peace, as Peacemakers, we are extending the Love of Jesus. Truth in love. Hope, faith, joy. We are not forcing opinions, rather presenting His faithfulness through His Word and His character.
When we embrace Peace, as Peacemakers, we lean in to the truth of Who God is. We trust Him because we know Him. We believe Him. We live not to be a voice amongst all the others screaming for attention. We live to bring Peace into the chaos. We stir Hope in wahat looks like hopeless situations.
We have access to peace that surpasses all understanding. How? Asking, seeking, trusting, believing, resting in Truths, not wishful thinkings or myths. Surrendering to the control we think we have and acknowledging we don't. With all the good vibes, positive thinkings, affirmation cards and downloadable guides, nothing brings us actual healing hope besides the Word, the Breath of God, because He is Peace. Anything besides Him is false peace. At best, they are hopeful feel goods in fleeting moments. God's Word, God's Love is eternally satisfying within the heart of every Believer.
We can be both Peacemakers and Peacekeepers in truth and love.
We are blessed to bring Jesus in to the chaos and allow His sword to cut through the tension and release the strongholds..
We are blessed to be peacemakers as we boldly speak what is beneficial to building up of The Kingdom and others. Harsh words, anger, loudness and selfishness only stires up strife and pushes people away from The Cross seeking to draw them in. Come taste and see the Lord is good!
I know it feels easier to not say anything, and sometimes the Lord will have us choose not to engage in some things He says are foolish or not our place to engage, but we are not meant to live our lives avoiding hard conversations, and not speaking, sharing Truth.
Stand firm. Do not be afraid. Take courage in truth. Be bold with truth. Being loving, in truth.
"Who is wise and understanding among you?
Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility
that comes from wisdom.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure;
then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
James 3: 13, 17-18
If today's encouragement hugged your HEART today, let me know in the comments or drop a Hello in the socials!! Feel free to share with a friend who needs a heart hug too!
This is how YOU get to hug my HEART back!
While it could be a whole Encyclopedia, here's a little Guide with things I have
implemented since 2009 to help me live a life of greater Peace and Joy..
Heart Hugs and Blessings,