Jonathan Edwards and Resolutions: (33) Peace & Counterfeit Peace
33. Resolved, always to do what I can towards making, maintaining, establishing and preserving peace, when it can be without over-balancing detriment in other respects. Dec. 26, 1722.
"If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men." (Romans 12:18 NKJV)
Times of peace are good. Peace is important. We should effort for peace. But we need to beware of counterfeit peace. Counterfeit peace is a broad road that leads to destruction. Counterfeit peace happens when the truth is sacrificed. We can spot it in our own hearts when peace begins to become the highest aim or as Edwards puts it when it is 'overbalancing detriment in other respects'.
We may notice we're settling for a counterfeit peace in weary times. Instead of pushing through a particular conflict, we ignore it, or lie and pretend it doesn't exist for the sake of 'peace'. In reality, what we're doing is feeding a monster that will rear its head in due season.
Christians must be people of peace. But being a peaceful person is costly. It requires difficult conversations, not the avoidance of them. It requires a steady footing on the unchanging word of God. It requires forgiveness and forbearance.
What better way to learn to be a God-centered person of peace than to be committed for the long haul to your local church? Our Christian culture is known for getting offended easily. Leaving local churches quickly because our feelings were hurt. One of the benefits of becoming a member in a local church is that it is the very place God teaches you how to live in real peace. When you're committed to the same people, you learn how to forgive and you learn how to receive forgiveness time and time again. You learn how to bear each other's burdens. You learn how to say the truth in love. You learn to be vulnerable and help to foster a safe space for others to be vulnerable. Peace takes time. We must cultivate it and frequently give attention to it. Those of us who are never grounded in one place for too long may never learn how to pursue peace.