Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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There are some phrases to which, over the years, I have developed an aversion. One of them is “I’m just keeping the peace.” My observation has been that this is a phrase that is used by someone who is in a bad situation but does not know what to do except to give up. I didn’t recognize it as a signal of despair and surrender when I first began to hear it years ago. It sounded to my inexperienced ears like the voice of wisdom, springing from an humble, noble soul who was willing to take the lesser part in life and to allow another to have what he demanded. Looking back, I saw from a better perspective that it was a cry for help. It was a plea for strength and wisdom to deal with an ungodly spirit that it could not understand or control.
“Just keeping the peace.” It sounds so innocent and wise. Years ago, I heard it from a brother whose self-willed wife insisted that he do her will instead of God’s. If I had been wiser, I would have known that he was asking me to help him, to strengthen him in the Lord, to speak with his wife and warn her of her duties as a wife and mother. As it was, I only watched as he slowly died in spirit as he “kept the peace” with her and lost his peace with God. I have heard it from parents who could not control their children and so, “just keeping the peace”, they ceased to rebuke them for wrongdoing and gave room to sin.
I have come to believe that when anyone tries to explain his actions or decisions by telling me he is just “keeping the peace”, what he is really telling me is that he has no peace left to keep.
Jesus calls no one to “keep the peace” with an evil spirit. And just in case any of his disciples should think so, he told them bluntly, “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? I tell you, No, but rather division. From henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father, and the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother, the mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law” (Lk. 12:51). Jesus did not go around “keeping the peace”. With his great love and courage, he disturbed many a man’s peace and had no regrets about doing so.
Jesus would rather divide a home than for one of God’s children to spend his life “keeping the peace” with an ungodly spouse. He would rather a parent send a child away from home than for the child to rule the home and the parent to be reduced to “keeping the peace” in broken-hearted silence.
Whom God keeps does not “keep the peace”; rather, God’s peace keeps him from being overcome by any of the ungodly spirits of this age.