This weekend I was fortunate enough to attend a session at the Justice Conference taught by The Global Immerse Project, Jarrod McKenna, and Jenny Yang. As I made my way through a day of training on “Peace and Faith,” I came away understanding these ideas in a new way. I’m thankful for the lessons from this weekend, and I can only pray they sink deep and take root in my heart. —Joy Beth Smith
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Matthew 5:9, ESV).
We live in a culture that equates disagreements with blind intolerance and conflict with unnecessary complication. Instead of sorting through problems, we run from them. Instead of engaging, we ignore. Instead of fighting, we forfeit. Instead of continuing to stand up and speak up, we sit down. We sit in front of our TVs, behind the walls of our glass houses, and we pack away our thoughts, our words, and our convictions because peace cannot keep house with cowardice.
Somehow, we’ve gotten it all twisted.
Why Is Peace Important?
Peace is such an abstract, daunting word that seems impossible to define and therefore is easy to ignore. But peace is important—so important that Jesus is even called the Prince of Peace. Mahatma Gandhi, a preeminent leader of nonviolent civil disobedience practices, said that peace “must be an inseparable part of our very being.” And ultimately, the fight for peace is a fight to see the God-given humanity in others. As Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the UN and winner of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize, writes, “Peace must be made real and tangible in the daily existence of every individual in need. Peace must be sought, above all, because it is the condition for every member of the human family to live a life of dignity and security.”1