Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it. (Ps 34:14 NKJV)
It has been suggested to me numerous times to do or say certain things labeled as "standing up for myself." Whether on a social network or in a personal situation, I'm encouraged to speak my mind, put my foot down, etc.
But I'm always cautious of this because it goes against the Word of God.
Now, I might rock the boat here, and if so, go ahead and toss me in because when all is said and done I plan on walking on water. But there is a distinct difference between a Christian and a non-Christian.
Okay, you say, that's not so controversial.
Oh, but it is. Opportunities to shove our beliefs in the face of another appear on a daily basis. But what have you really accomplished when you do that? Most often, you've driven the person away. I know no amount of pictures displayed on Facebook or Twitter as pro-anything will change my mind, so I'm sure no amount of anything I post will change their mind either.
Instead, we, as Christians, are given an instruction to SEEK PEACE. Seek implies we are searching for it in order to obtain. I seek chocolate sometimes. I know where it is or I go to find some. I seek photographs. I take myself outdoors. I check my camera settings. Those are simple examples, but they illustrate the same principle. In order to seek something, I must take action.
This makes PEACE not something passive at all. And that's what we've thought. We've thought by sitting on our cans and doing nothing, effectively allowing others to talk and often say the wrong things, we're not furthering Christianity. But that's wrong.
Because PEACE is an awesomely powerful weapon. Why do you think the Scripture says, "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger?" (Pr 15:1 NKJV) You should try that sometime. In the height of an argument, trying apologizing.
Wait, what? Why would I do that? you ask. I'm not at fault.
But if you're furthering the atmosphere of debate and hatred, you are. I cannot wave the flag of anger and strife in the face of another and say I'm seeking peace.
This makes PEACE often the hardest thing you'll ever do. It's painful to stand there and say nothing. Excruciating to say, "I love you," when you don't feel it, but it's godly. And that's far more important.
Because the world will only be won by our behavior. It's when someone sees me and says, "You know, Suzanne goes to church, and maybe I don't understand it, but she's always nice to me. She never makes fun of me. She never argues with me. And I appreciate that," that people begin to look at Christians differently.
I can stand up for myself. All my friends, whether in the church or out of it, know how important God is to me. They know what I do or don't believe in. Yet I didn't have to yell at them to show it.
Suzanne D. Williams
Suzanne Williams Photography
Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.