The movie “The Beautician and the Beast” is one of my all-time favorites. It’s about a young woman wrongfully hired to be a science tutor for the children of a dictator. As a beautician, she had no qualifications for the position, and the dictator often got upset with her. When he unleashed his anger on her, she held up her hand, turned her head, and said, “Talk to the hand.” In other words, I’m not interested.
Right now, I want to do this same thing. In our world of chaos right now I want I am so tired of people pushing one another’s “hot buttons”. Our nation is becoming increasingly polarized: right-wing vs. left-wing, liberal vs. conservative, vaccinated vs. unvaccinated, masked vs unmasked, denominations vs other denominations, pro-life vs.pro- choice and truth vs. lies. News is no longer news; it’s based on opinions and not facts. We are being indoctrinated with all kinds of worldly garbage.
Where is the peace in all of this? Didn’t the Lord create us to live in peace and harmony? “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27 NIV).
Recently I was reading a devotional by Lisa Terkeurst: “Peace in my life isn’t being prevented by other people’s choices. It’s made possible by my choices.” This phrase is packed with wisdom. You and I cannot control the chaos happening around us, but we can control what we tune into and allow in our lives. The enemy wants division, and I am watching the chaos he has created in our society. Families against families, friends against friends, strangers against strangers all arguing and blaming.
As believers, we know better. Scripture teaches us how to act: “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you” (Matthew 7:12 ESV). “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all, (Romans12:18 ESV). In times like this, I know it is hard to obey the scriptures that lead us to peace, because our flesh wants to rise up. I admit there are times I speak when I should be quiet. Yet, as believers and followers of the scriptures, our actions should speak to the world that we are different; that we are a light to the world.
As Paul writes, “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:14-15 NKJV). If we aren’t careful, we can find ourselves caught up in all the rebellious, negative thinking and speech that surrounds. Jesus was a wonderful example of focusing on what was important no matter how many times the Pharisees tried to trick Him. He carried peace hurting people and offered them water for their weary souls.
Peace is a gift we can have access at all the times, not only when it is easy or convenient, but in difficult circumstances. Lately I have had to use the phrase, “Let’s agree to disagree and move on” unless it goes against Scripture. I have to ask the question, “What is my focus? To be right or to live in peace?”
As I thought about peace during this time, I made a short list of what to do and what not do. Here it is:
What Not To Do:
- Do not live in chaos.
- Do not label others.
- Do not blame others.
- Do not overly emotional.
- Do not accuse.
- Do not being overly prideful.
- Do not gossip about those who are not like-minded.
- Do your opinion on others.
- Do not get offended.
What We Need To Do:
- Do love others as you want to be loved.
- Do honor others higher than yourself.
- Do respect those who believe differently than you do.
- Do forgive lavishly.
- Do be humble and kind.
- Do look beyond the words and into that person’s heart.
- Do extend mercy and grace.
- Do take responsibility for your actions and mistakes.
- Do pray and seek Him in all things.
- Do shut your mouth. Silence can be golden.
- Do stay focused on the goal of people coming to know Christ.
There are probably more you could add to this list, and I encourage you to do that, especially under “What We Need To Do.” We must be reminded: “In fact, the mind-set focused on the flesh fights God’s plan and refuses to submit to his direction, because it cannot! For no matter how hard they try, God finds no pleasure with those who are controlled by the flesh” (Romans 8:7-18 TPT). When we argue, divisiveness continues, and though we may not realize it, we are being controlled by the flesh. The mindset of Christ is to be controlled by the Spirit of God at all times.
As believers who have the Holy Spirit living within us, we are to be beacons of love, joy, and hope to the world, set apart by our actions and words.
Lord, we live in a crazy mixed-up world full of chaos, mistrust, and opinions. Yet, You are the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Help me to be Your servant in restoring peace to those around me. Help me to not engage in battles over useless issues, but walk as you have directed me, to live in harmony with others as far as it depends on me. Help me to speak words that are life-giving. Help me know when to speak and when to be silent. I know the plan of the enemy is to put enmity between our loved ones and I come against the evil one to flee from my relationships by creating arguments, and misunderstandings, judgement, and division. I pray for unity within the body of Christ, our families, and friends. Most of all I pray that You, Lord, will be glorified amidst this chaos. I pray people will come to You and be saved, and I pray that no division will prevent me from being Your voice of peace. Lord, I praise You in faith to answer this prayer. May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus name, amen.