“Too long have I had my dwelling among those who hate peace. I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war!” – Psalm 120:6-7

What impresses me about this passage is that the author expresses that he is committed to being all for peace even when those around him hate it and want war. I personally think that this is a massive challenge for all of us in these particular times. The reality is that we live in a very divisive moment in our history. The tension caused by our differences of opinions regarding health, political, and social issues in our country is very high. It seems to me as if more than ever before it’s getting harder to engage in respectful and meaningful conversations about certain topics, with people with whom we disagree. Many conversations nowadays feel like being in the middle of a minefield. And to make matters worse, the media keeps feeding us with new controversial topics almost every week, making it even harder for us to agree on much. As a result, we have become more impulsive in our reactions towards those who have different points of view than ours. We are taking other people’s opinions way too personally.

Now, to be honest, I don’t think this tension is going away anytime soon. The challenge for us, as disciples of Jesus, is that we are right in the middle of the controversies. The question is, how are we going to respond toward those with whom we have disagreements? The psalmist would suggest for us to respond in the following way: “I’m for peace!” Now, I know that this suggestion might sound very unrealistic to many of us because we don’t know how to handle the distress of being in disagreement with others without feeling personally attacked. For those of us who struggle this way, let me remind you that Jesus is the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6), and surely He’s willing to show us how to “be for peace” even when people around us are for war. As followers of Jesus, we cannot allow ourselves to fall into the temptation of seeing our neighbors with suspicion instead of seeing them with love. Certainly, our opinions do matter, but not as much as our neighbors do, for we are called to love our neighbors like ourselves (Matt. 22:39). So, let’s not allow the “us versus them” mentality to take the best of us.

In my opinion, there’s only one thing about us that might make people around us uncomfortable, and that’s the message we believe, live, and share. However, being for peace includes sharing the message of peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). Just be prepared, the message we are about is going to be extremely offensive to many people in today’s society. Believe me, the more we share the gospel of peace, the more people will become enraged. But even as we share the gospel we do it for the shalom, for the peace, of all people.

Esteban Tapia
Spanish Ministries

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