Pursuing relational peace isn’t primarily about the results … or is it?
As Martin spoke on Sunday of peace-makers and their less desirable cousins, the “-breakers” and “-fakers,” I began to contemplate the idea of pursuing “results.” This concept is one I have been familiar with over recent years. I have attempted to hang constructed, idealistic expectations on the walls of my life like pictures and even built a few frames for the ones I was sure would stay.
The problem with working for results, is that results are uncertain. Goals are necessary. Goals are great. They make happy planners and provide a target to aim toward. They are much like puppies, however, providing initial happiness until the realization of their not yet being house-broken seeps in. They might not ruin the Oriental rug in the hallway on the first day, but it’s unrealistic to think every furnishing will remain intact.
The same thing takes place if we pursue “peace-making” with a required, predetermined outcome. The idealistic expectation is constructed and effort is put forth, yet with a selfish attitude that will almost surely dismantle any realistic chance of success. This attitude demands one result be achieved, leaving little room for God to work in the midst of flawed people.
It’s common to want difficult circumstances to evaporate and pleasantness to saturate our lives. This is not God’s greatest desire for you; it is that you and your spouse, children, family, friends, and even enemies, be transformed in greater and greater depth into the image of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, and through this that God receive glory.
Should you pursue results? Well, yes, pursue peace because our God is a God of peace. In this pursuit, understand the results are nothing less than your own (and others’) transformation. And the power of this transformation does not rest in your effort alone, but is subject to the timing and the will of Almighty God.