But I’ve spent a few days now mulling over this statement. I’ve even turned to a Bible passage to think on it more.
The statement had to do with communicating the opposite of peace.
This is what it said:
The opposite of peace is not war, it’s fear.
For some, this might be a no-brainer. But for me, it was quite revelatory.
Now, it’s not to say that, if things are not peaceful, then war won’t exist. But the reality is that war is more of a surface behaviour, something seen, rather than exposing the deeper things taking place inside.
Think about it – when people are fearful, then this leads to ‘war’, whether personally or nationally. If a person walks in fear, then it will easily lead to an internal battle and possible battles with others. When a nation is fearful, it goes to war, either on the defensive or offensive.
So, when I, as one created in God’s image and being re-created in the image of Christ, feel all out of sorts, not knowing the peace of God, I might just consider what kind of fear has laid hold of my heart. There are a whole host of fears – fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of loss, fear of a lack of provision, fear of pain, fear of a lack of control, etc. But all of these fears grip our hearts and rob us of the peace of Christ.
As I pondered things more over the last few days, I was drawn to this well-known passage:
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one bodyyou were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Col 3:15-17)
I’m mainly drawn to those first words: Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.
So I ask – Why would peace not be ruling in my heart?
And, obviously, Paul lays out a few things that will help see the peace of the prince of peace rule in our hearts: gratitude; the word of Christ; psalms, hymns and songs of the Spirit. There are others to consider, but that’s a good beginning.
But as peace rules in our hearts, we will stand unmoved. It’s not that things don’t need to be shaken in our lives (i.e., Heb 12:26-29). God will continue to shake until that final shaking when all things are renewed after the ways of his kingdom rule. But, in the midst of such needed shaking, we can still know peaceful serenity in Christ.
Remember: The opposite of peace is not war, it’s fear. If you find yourself robbed of God’s peace, embattled internally or externally, ask what it is that you fear. Let God speak into that fear, or fears, that we might be healed and ruled by his peace.