What a wonderful concept. How great would it be if we truly could live in peace with one another! How great it would be if we could end war! How amazing if there were an end to violence!
The problem is the selfishness of humanity. As a whole, we can’t handle others having a different way of thinking or way of life. We struggle with what others have and we don’t. We hoard what we have and hold it over the heads of others. At the individual level, we each want to be first, want more, seek position. It is selfishness that causes conflict whether on a large or small scale. If we were less selfish as humankind, we would have more peace.
The selfish heart can’t let others be. It can’t rejoice in the success of others or lend a hand of compassion in a moment of need. Selfish dictates that the strong oppress the weak and the oppressed rise against the oppressor. It is selfishness that drives corruption in government and selfishness that divides people groups.
God is love. It is His character. He defines love, He is not defined by it. We are called to be like God, to embody His character to our world.
Selfishness is the opposite of love. Love does whatever is needed for the betterment, the protection, the provision, the welfare of another. Selfishness puts self before everything and everyone else. While there is emotion in love, it is not an emotion. Love is a trait, a character, a decision, a force, a reality, a hope, motivation, strength, inner fortitude and so much more all wrapped in one package. Hard to fully define, but simply put, it is about striving for the best of another.
To have peace on earth has nothing to do with political ideal, agenda, party, or opinion. We will not have peace by getting everyone to agree on something. It is not as easy as one issue on the spectrum.
Peace on earth comes from children of God living out God’s love. That is the hope of this season. That is the hope of the world. Jesus is the light of the world, His followers are His instrument of hope, the embodiment of His love, and agents of the Prince of Peace, Jesus.