Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”

I have that scripture tattooed on my inner forearm. Growing up, it seemed I was surrounded by drama, at school and at home. So, I often sought peace. I found peace closed in my bedroom with a book or spending time just out riding my bicycle. As I got older, I found peace fishing on the river, camping in the woods, sitting looking out over the mountains or the ocean. I have long been on a self-induced stress reduction diet. If a particular situation or relationship does not have value that exceeds the level of stress related to it, I simply cut it out of my life.

As a father, I have strongly desired peace for my daughter’s life and have done whatever I could to be a peace bringer. As a husband, I have listened to my wife’s struggles and sought to be a peace bringer. One of the hardest lessons I have had to learn was to avoid trying to provide fixes to situations and instead listen and help provide an environment of peace.

While I have failed at times to be a source of peace and some might say that I have stirred the pot, I have always strongly wanted peace. Many times I find myself struggling when faced with the decision of engaging a problem and confronting a situation or not saying anything just to maintain the peace. I have felt convicted when my desire for peace seemed to outweigh my desire to right a situation by having the difficult discussion. At times, it seems, we have to step into the conflict and face matters head-on. But even during difficult conversations requiring confrontations, we can still seek to obtain peace without having to avoid the situation.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

The good news is God desires peace in our lives as much as I desire peace in the lives of my loved ones. In fact, Jesus is referred to as the Prince of Peace in Isaiah 9:6. So our desire for peace is a quality instilled in us by our creator. When we promote peace in our relationships, we are being Christ-like which is pretty awesome.

The tattoo on my forearm is a constant reminder for me in the hustle and bustle of life to find those moments of peace in my own life and to be an instrument of peace in others lives. It is also a reminder of who the source of peace is.

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