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Peace or peace?

Last night my older daughter was talking about the fruit of the spirit and I quoted Galatians 5:22-23.  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”  Okay, I paraphrased it because I always get them out of order.  When I got to “peace”, my younger daughter’s voice came forth from the bottom bunk, “I thought you didn’t like that.” 

“What?” I asked her, not really understanding the statement.

She said, “I thought you didn’t like peace.”

This statement caught me off guard for a moment.  With the popularity of the “peace, love, _____ ” shirts on the rise, I have talked to my kids about the “peace movement”.  The idea that war is bad and peace is an absence of conflict between humans.  I have espoused the idea that the only way there will be peace in the world we live in is with complete victory.  I believe there can be no “peace” without victory.  This mostly applies to America’s enemies.

My daughter was asking about my dislike for “peace”.  I then had to explain to her the difference between peace and peace.

Peace in the 1960’s and through modern time has come to mean an absence of conflict.  Everyone gets along and no one fights with anyone else.  This is, I believe, founded in eastern philosophy, especially buddhism. (I’m sure I’m showing my ignorance here.)  Jesus himself was a man of peace, though.  Except for one specific example, related in Mt. 21:12, Mk. 11:15, and John 2:15, where Jesus drove the money changers from the temple, He was all about turning the other cheek.  He was also a man of mercy and compassion.  He healed the soldier whose ear Peter struck off with the sword when they came to arrest Him.  Despite these scriptural references, I don’t believe that is the peace to which Paul was referring in Galatians.

I believe that the peace to which Paul was referring is a cessation of striving with God.  The knowledge that we will no longer fight Him brings peace.  We accept that He has our best interests at heart, no matter what.  According to the book of Romans, the natural human condition is enmity with God (See 5:10 and 11:28).  When we are reconciled to God that enmity is gone.  The war is over.  The blood of Jesus Christ has won a complete victory over sin and brought us back to our loving Father.

Now, that’s peace!

 Jesus was at peace with the world because he knew he would give the ultimate sacrifice to win, once and for all time, the battle over sin.  Thank God I have been set free from the constant battle for peace in my heart.

Believe it or not, I think my 9-year-old gets it.

Now, how do I explain this to a 6-year-old?

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