Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Peace-maker vs. Peace-keeper

A few days ago, I posted about my needing to become a Peacemaker, as mentioned in the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount.

These past few days, I've been revising that in my head. I need to begin, first, with becoming a "peace-keeper." I find I cannot be a peacemaker without first learning how to keep peace within me. I do not know why I have a hard time keeping my lips sealed when I know I cannot affect the outcome of some conversations.

Granted, there are many people in my life who I enjoy talking with. They are people who I can chat with, disagree with, but not argue with. We listen to each other's views, we respect each other's opinions. We don't let that interfere with our lives.

But there are about a half dozen people who end up causing me to raise my voice in either anger or frustration. I should not say they "cause me" to do that. It's my own fault if I allow myself to react that way.

I remember the Reverend Robert H. Schuller of the Crystal Cathedral in CA, way back in the 80s. One Sunday morning, he said something to the effect that we cannot help what happens to us in life, but we can affect how we react to it.

That should be my clue, my goal. I need to stop allowing these few people to affect my moment, my hour, my day, my life.

I am also concerned that I even feel so strongly about pushing my own explanation or opinion on them. This shows me that there is a strong branch of unnecessary pride in me that needs serious pruning.

Dear God, please send me the grace and gifts of the Spirit needed so that I might stop wasting my energy and effort in explaining my opinion to people who really aren't interested; remind me of your son, who resisted the urges to react when his detractors humiliated him and scorned him. I need to follow his example.

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