Why Peace Gets a Bum Rap

PEACE GETS A BAD RAP. War is macho: guns and explosions, blood and guts, winning and losing. And where war isn’t available, we’ll manufacture vegetarian versions of it: football (replete with war metaphors), video games, violent movies, boxing and wrestling.

But peace? Peace is for sissies. It’s wimpy and boring and lacks enough testosterone. Perhaps there’s a reason women are often at the forefront of anti-war movements. And along with women are the weak-kneed Christians. Their leader is even called the Prince of Peace.

But perhaps we ought to remember that conflict is an aberration, an intruder. Before Lucifer, it never existed. And once Lucifer goes, conflict goes with him. He is the one who tried to deify self—the ultimate goal of which is, “I’m first, and if necessary to defend that position, I’ll destroy you.” Self readily resorts to force to get what it wants. But again, before Lucifer, force never existed.

Those of us infected with the virus of selfishness that Lucifer let loose have warped perceptions of reality. It’s as if our wiring is in backward so we love (or are at least drawn to) conflict and hate (or are at least bored by) peace—rather than the other way around, as God created us. So couples and churches and political parties and nations constantly stir the pot, thriving on the drama of Self. Even just the idea of Me-First brings an adrenaline rush—as Eve found while listening to the serpent’s sales pitch.

Conflict on earth is now so systemic that peace seems the aberration. Conflict is a basic and endemic reality of daily life.

  • It could be two small schoolboys duking it out on the playground.
  • Maybe it’s a husband and wife arguing—trading harsh, bitter words.
  • It could be two prizefighters in a ring, intent on punching each other’s lights out.
  • It could be the shouting of TV “talking heads” generating more heat than light about politics.
  • It could be two nations, posturing and threatening—or actively engaged in combat.
  • It is even likely that often, you’re aware of a fight taking place right inside you—a fight between your good side and your not-so-good side.

But God is a God of peace, not conflict. He created a world of total and perfect peace—of complete harmony between people. Even the animals were at peace with each other. An utter lack of conflict is God’s ideal—though most assuredly, when those He created and loved were threatened, He proved demonstrably ready to defend them even to the death. Peaceful does not equate with passive. The Great Controversy between good and evil does have two sides—but the conflict is not God’s original or ultimate will. Fortunately, the Bible makes clear that a time is coming soon when again, this earth will be a place of absolute peace.

In that New Earth, will we have challenges? Of course. Will we have ways of testing ourselves? Yes, but not against each other.

Here in this life, conflict seems strong and peace seems weak. That is only because Satan has successfully sold that bill of goods. The truth is, in our current sinful environment, it takes enormous strength to seek peace. To opt for conflict only requires the easy choice of not resisting our worst impulses.

Yet another way that God sees things differently from His end of the telescope—than we do through our end here on Earth.

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