” If you play the fool and exalt yourself, or if you plan evil, clap your hand over your mouth! For as churning cream produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife”.
Proverbs 30: 32-33
Have you watched the Wagah Border gate opening or closing ceremony? Each morning and evening Indian and Pakistani military perform an antagonistic ceremony while opening or closing the border between these two countries. The main objective of the ceremony is to maintain an atmosphere of mutual cooperation and harmony between the two countries. However, as their history is wrought with conflict, the ceremony appears to be a means for soldiers to let of a bit of steam while strutting their prowess.
There are spectator stands in each country’s side of the border and the crowds are whipped into a frenzy of yelling and cheering by individuals with microphones shouting patriotic slogans. It reaches a peak as when aggressive soldiers “goose” marches to the border gates and take up a posture abreast from their counterparts. While facing each other they initiate a show of strength similar to roosters staking their territory. There is foot slamming, chest strutting, and pruning of moustaches and beards. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXVMIOT-EFg
This week the G7 summit takes place in Europe and we see strutting roosters trying to show their might almost provoking others to respond. Citizens are whipped into patriotic frenzies by protectionist speeches and the world is becoming more isolated than ever before. There is both anger and anxiety as we wonder whether it is arrogance that is causing leaders to act as they are or whether it is truly the best interest of their citizens they have at heart.
Scripture says stirring up anger leads to strife. We can imagine the concern of military leaders around the world as they wonder where their leader’s foot slamming will lead us to. The families of our serving military can’t help but wonder if another powered keg is getting lit somewhere in the world where they may lose their loved ones. Family, work colleagues and neighbours wonder whether personal disputes will destroy relationships or friendships.
Disharmony is not God’s intent for humanity. Whether it is on the world scene or in the workplace or in that family setting, we can witness strive caused by someone wanting to strut their stuff. Often, we find ourselves in the middle of these disputes acting as peacekeepers, but God wants us to be peacemakers. Peacekeepers stand in-between warring factions, keeping them apart to prevent further violence. Whereas, peacemakers seek to bring both sides together, in an attempt to defuse the situation, seek reconciliation, and bring back harmony.
Pray God gives you the wisdom and courage to be a peacemaker so that you can pursue harmony wherever you are. Also pray for our world leaders so they will put aside their pride and work for the betterment of humanity.