- Out of Phase #1 – Being a Servant
- Out of Phase #2 – Boundaries
- Out of Phase #3 – Responsibilities
- Out of Phase #4 – Rules
- Out of Phase #5 – Emotions
- Out of Phase #6 – Work
- Out of Phase #7 – Christian Quips
- Out of Phase #8 – Reasons & Responsibilities
- Out of Phase #9 – Religion
- Out of Phase #10 – Enough
- Out of Phase #11 – Retreat
- Out of Phase #12 – Healthy Relationships
- Out of Phase #13 – Words
- Out of Phase #14 – Depth and Breadth – Impact
- Out of Phase #15 – Control
- Out of Phase #16 – Tradition
- Out of Phase #17 – Pain
- Out of Phase #18 – Our Story
- Out of Phase #19 – Peace
- Out of Phase #20 – Hopes, Dreams & Desires
- Out of Phase #21 – Good Things Bad Things
- Out of Phase #22 – Keeping our Focus
- Out of Phase #23 – Transactions
- Out of Phase #24 – Formula
- Out of Phase #25 – Community
- Out of Phase #26 – Thoughts
- Out of Phase #27 – Doing
- Out of Phase #28 – Trying
- Out of Phase #29 – More
- Out of Phase #30 – Knowledge
- Out of Phase #31 – Tragedy
Peace is something most of us long for. But, like the previous eighteen Out of Phase Blogs, peace is one more area of our life that can so easily get knocked out of phase. How is this possible? Because in our desire to avoid conflict we are all too willing to settle for a counterfeit peace. Counterfeit peace can come in many forms: substance, affluence, power, or something far more subtle such as denial and avoidance-all of which will clamor for our focus in an effort to rob us of true peace.
We have likely all experienced this. We avoid conflict and convince ourselves that this is peace. We ignore dysfunction, tolerate abuse, and steer clear of confrontation, only to add to it all through the role of the enabler. We can also seek false peace as the aggressor through passive-aggressive behavior, or all out aggression through manipulation, gossip, or lies we justify as a means to “keep (false) peace.”
In his sermon on Conflict Pastor Randy Draughon of Midtown Fellowship Nashville shared this truth: “Real peace wars against false peace.” It seems contradictory doesn’t it? Jesus is called both Mighty Warrior and Price of Peace. However, we often need reminded (at least I do) that peace is not the absence of conflict.
There are many examples of this in scripture, but the two that always come to my mind are found in the book of First Kings.
16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah. 17 When he saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?” 18 “I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals.” 1 Kings 18:16-18
7 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?” 8 The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.” 1 Kings 22:7-8
Speaking truth is not always easy, especially speaking truth to power (and in the two scriptures referenced above a power that could order your immediate execution).
When our peace is out of phase our focus turns inward – possibly as a means of self-preservation. We can also be motivated by a desire to maintain our false peace; as such we defend those dark places of our heart: our hurts, our addictions, our unhealthy behaviors. A peace that is in phase, however, exposes those very things we seek to defend by bringing light to the darkness.
I heard pastor and author Steve Brown once say, “If we enjoy confrontation, we are not called to it. To confront someone in a healthy way requires that we are as broken by their sin as they should be.”
In my family, I have experienced both the false peace of avoidance and the true peace of restoration. Through the latter I have seen this truth play out: false peace will always propagate brokenness, but a peace that is in phase always seeks restoration – even when it requires conflict.