What a morning at Calvary Memorial, seizing God's promise of peace (Romans 5:1; 12:18). At one point, I asked the congregation(s) to self-test on two areas of creativity, on a scale of 1 to 10 (-1 means no skill, 5 average skill, and 10 maximum skill).
The first test relates to "peace-wrecking." Where do we place ourselves on this scale? Here average skill is well-developed since most are naturally gifted, with so many techniques for falling out with people, taking umbrage, misunderstanding, being jealous...and otherwise creating bad chemistry. Frankly, we can do it with our eyes shut. We don't even need to say or do anything - just subtle body language can create hostility. So, if you are at a 6 or a 7 you really are proficient! I remember being asked to visit a lady and being warned: "She's not easy to get on with." Well, that was an understatement. Her very first sentence was lethally subversive, adroitly agitating my spirit and firing up hostility. She was utterly brilliant. I was dazzled by her imagination, creativity and sheer energy. I rated her at least a 9! Definitely at jedi knight proficiency. A black belt. Mensa class.
The second test concerns "peace-making." Here skill levels are far less developed. In fact the average ability is very low. So to be average is really very poor, with low amounts of imagination, creativity and sheer energy. Of course, the two belong together. The higher you are on the peace-wrecking scale, inevitably the poorer you are as peace-maker!
Well, we had some fun. But the implications are devastatingly serious. If we claim Romans 5:1 "Therefore, since we have been justified by through, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ," then we, of all people, should know the cost of Jesus' sacrifice to reconcile us to God, and heed his command to be peace-makers. If God's people don't cope with conflict with above average peace-making skills (by His Spirit), what hope is there? Every little bit of indulgent peace-wrecking sabotages God's peace. Every moment of peace-making counts. "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone" (Rom 12;18) I heard sober stories this morning of people who know that peace-making is a priority this week. And I want to develop more imagination, creativity and trust in God's energy for better peace-making too. What about you?