For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. Ephesians 6:14
The best shoes offer comfort and protection, something that can prove hard to find. I like walking boots as I know they’ll tackle any terrain. And there’s one brand that’s exceptionally comfortable. Warfare by its very nature is fuelled by violence. It quickly escalates disagreement and before we know it, despite our best efforts, the core issue is lost and replaced. My desire is now to obliterate my opponent. This isn’t only on the battlefield but, all too frequently, in my daily interactions with others.
Jesus declared, ‘Happy are the peacemakers, for they are the children of God’. (Matthew 5:9) No wonder Paul speaks of Jesus demolishing walls of hostility through his incarnation. (Ephesians 2:14-22) Our problem is spending too much time rebuilding these walls of hostility and justifying their existence.
Peacemakers work with Jesus in demolishing walls of separation. They identify the issues around which legitimate differences exist. Then they work with apparent ‘enemies’ to explore shared interests that all parties accept and so reduce antagonism.
Society stands in great need of peacemakers. Those who turn existing tensions into effective means to hold society together, much as guy ropes secure a tent. Its canvas serves no purpose lying in a heap. It’s purpose is unknown and unavailable.
Failure to walk in peace shoes leads us into conflict, both external and internal. This distracts us from God and robs us of happiness. Anger and bitterness displaces our peace with God and destabilises our faith walk. Our witness is compromised, our anxiety increased. Peace shoes enable us to live as a non-anxious presence in a world that engages in continuous war with itself.
Something to Consider: What walls of hostility have you built, or now separate you from others?
An Action to Take: Read the Insight into Managing Conflict. Visit edwj.org/ma21-26mar
A Prayer to Make: ‘Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love, where there is injury, pardon.’
Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.
Photo by Ave Calvar on Unsplash
Used with Permission