When we think of the word peace, we often think of shalom. “The Hebrew word shalom is generally translated as peace, but it means much more. The word denotes wholeness, a coming together of disparate parts. The essential meaning of shalom is pulling together and the antithesis of shalom is falling apart: the opposite of peace is pieces.” (Rabbi Rick Sherwin, Aug. 19, 2017). It follows then, that for the Christian, peace is not merely the absence of conflict or living a nonviolent lifestyle, but a reconciled view of the world through acting as a positive force for justice and righteousness. We lack peace when our minds are centered on ourselves and on circumstances. Actions that make for peace do not always come easily since peacemakers need to: be humble instead of arrogant or proud; understand that all killing, including character assassination, is wrong; maintain a spirit of prayer rather than criticism; and allow the principle of non-resistance to guide their actions. At the heart of actions for peace is tender, forgiving love (John Drescher, 1974). A quote attributed to Jimi Hendrix sums this up – “When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.”
Instant gratification is common in our society. Why wait for something when you can get it now, have it now, and enjoy it now? In contrast, patience requires “the ability to wait, or to continue doing something despite difficulties, or to suffer without complaining or becoming annoyed” (Cambridge Dictionary). A quote from David G. Allen states “patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.” John Drescher sees patience as “love under pressure.” It is listed first in the love chapter (I Corinthians 13) – “love is patient”. Although it is necessary in relationships with others, it is also important that we treat ourselves with patience and recognize that we are still a ‘work in progress’. Once we understand this, it is easier to be patient with others. Patience, then, is a choice, a commitment, a mark of leadership, and an act of service. “Every time I choose patience, I am choosing to put my own desires on the back burner and embrace the holy inconvenience of service” (Michael Kelley, May 30, 2019). For the Christian, patience can be viewed as one way to share the gospel without using words.