“Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you” (2 Corinthians 13:11NLT).
I like harmony. To be honest, I love it—a lot. As a writer, it’s difficult to achieve.
I’m the kind of person who could light scented candles each day to celebrate cease-fires and peacetime. I’d rather have serenity than confrontation. I would’ve made a great flower-child had I been born a few minutes earlier. The thought of giving out garlands in airports and dancing carefree through the streets makes me smile.
Truthfully, fantasizing about an ideal period in history or being preoccupied with peace means not having to confront much of anything. This isn’t harmonious. It’s a fallacy where I ignore tons of details that need my attention. I also ignore God’s calling to write about work that needs doing and issues that need addressing.
For example, I’m sometimes conflicted over a piece I’m supposed to write. In that case, a writing project seems daunting or out of my league. I procrastinate instead of jumping into action. I’ll also tend to obsess over a simpler time in my life when I didn’t have so many deadlines, editors to answer to, and complex matters to address. I’m not proud of this. But sometimes, I put all of these worries out of my mind for a time. I forget to remain thankful. Until I’m cranky and eating way too many carbs so that I can keep my “harmony."
But, true harmony isn’t kept; it’s created. True harmony is created by growing in maturity. Genuine peace means being appreciative of every moment God gives me.
At this present time in our history, believers need to embrace the confrontation and tension of working for God’s people. This way, we can find our path to create harmony. Like me, have you avoided a hot topic or an issue, like racism or segregation within the Christian community because it was uncomfortable?
Have we chosen our comfort and peace over God’s calling for us to confront the darkness we all too often deny? I’m guilty. I have to do better. I know I do.
Your Turn: Will you walk alongside me and answer the call to choose confrontation (with love and grace) over comfort? Restoration over complacency? Appreciation over grumbling and complaining?
Lord, I ask you to help me strive for restoration over complacency. Open my eyes to my shortcomings and grow me in maturity. Bless me to encourage others and be of one mind, living in peace with fellow believers of ALL nations. Help me embrace the needed confrontation (with love and grace) to work for justice for your people. Amen.
* A modified version of this blog post was first published August 9, 2021, in the magazine for Christian writers: www.inkspirationsonline.com