I am a peacemaker.  

As the youngest of seven children I felt it was my job to insure that my siblings got along.  Childhood arguments and quarreling really got me nervous so I would always try to smooth things over within my family.

I also could not stand to see anyone get into trouble for not doing their chores so I would pick up the slack for everyone that was negligent of their chores — all just to keep the peace.

Peacemaking is an admirable quality, right?  {My siblings who didn’t do their chores thought so!}

I carried this trait to adulthood and into my marriage.  It was in the setting of this sacred union that I discovered that being a peacemaker did not equal me having peace.

You see, peace is about Christ.

Christ is our peace.  He is the Prince of Peace.  He is Peace.  Having peace is not the same as being a peacemaker.

Peacemaking became about something I would do to avoid solving problems or making waves.

Somewhere along the line, it also became something that I could grab a hold of and point to and say to God “look at what I am doing — it is all for You.”  I was sincere in saying this, too.  After all, peacemaking is admirable, right?

The answer for me was, “Yes, but …”

Jesus began to challenge me by asking me if I was “getting” peace by all of my peacemaking.

In fact, I was not.  I was not at peace because I was always carrying that bucket of water (which is heavy) to put out the next fire I saw beginning to smolder.

Early in my marriage, there would be problems between my husband and me, or my family and my new marriage, or his family and my new marriage.  As the years passed, new pressures and jobs came so there were more fires to put out.  (Let’s face it, life on earth and with others is full of conflict!)  Then the marriage changed to “just the two of us” to “just the six of us” when children arrived.  I rose to the challenge of keeping peace between my own kids.

Then it hit me.  All this “fire putting out” that I was doing left me a lot of things, but not peace.  I was tired and weary but not full of peace.

Paul teaches on this as he continues his letter to the Galatians.  In fact, he wraps up his thoughts with this point:  our focus as daughters of the King, Imperfect Wives and mothers, is to be on the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Galatians 6:14-16 says,

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation. 16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God. (NIV)

My focus was not on the cross.  In fact, I had fallen prey to glorying in my “works” for Christ.  I became like those who want to make a good, impression outwardly . . . .” (v. 12)

I clung to peacemaking thinking that others would praise my efforts because I helped everyone avoid being uncomfortable by conflict.  In the context of my marriage, I thought the less “upheaval,” the more my husband and I would be at peace.

Paul counters this thinking, however, in verse 16.  He says, “Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God.”

So what is this principle that Paul is talking about?  It is the principle of the cross outlined in verses 14-15.

The principle of the cross frees us.  It frees us from the world (and the flesh).

The principle of the cross empowers us to walk as a new creation (to walk by the Spirit; to walk by faith and not by sight).

Finally, the principle of the cross brings peace and mercy to all who follow this rule.

Peace doesn’t come by “doing” peaceful actions.  Instead, our peaceful actions come from having the peace of Christ.

Peace comes from boasting in the cross of Jesus.

Focus on the cross and peace will follow.

Put down the heavy buckets of water, ladies, that you might be carrying and focus on the cross.

Empty yourself at the cross and experience freedom and power.  And peace.


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