Peace Be With You, the podcast, explores mediation, pastoral counseling, and spiritual direction. It is a call to arms for a peacemaking army that will overcome division, hostility, and conflict. Let us hasten an era of world peace.
Episode 35: Social Injustice
Non-faith-based versions of Social Justice, versions that advocate identity politics and victimhood, tend to promote division and conflict. Instead of focusing on collaboration, consensus, and unity — they focus on differences.
Creative storytelling used to protect self-image differs from lies intended to take advantage of others. Lies that sweeten the conflict narrative and Save Face differ from intentionally destructive lies. Peacemakers must discern the difference.
In this episode, I want to point out a common trap that awaits peacemakers: Sympathy is often equated with empathy. When peacemakers fail to discern the difference between sympathy and empathy, they get into trouble.
When peacemakers reconcile relationships they deliver a bonus — people better understand Life. This is especially true when a person’s relationship with God is reconciled. When a loving relationship with God is restored, people gain an ability to see reality at the deepest level possible.
As a practical matter, love precedes knowledge. Love comes first. When love is absent, knowledge is absent. At first, this idea may seem strange. Ordinarily, we do not consider that we must first to love something in order to know it. Let’s reflect on how that might be.
We must seek a dynamic and operational definition of sin, a definition that integrates with peacemaking. What does that mean? As peacemakers, we seek a definition of sin that focuses on relationship. Sin ends when divine love is brought back into a relationship. People do not cease sinning because they know the rules better. They stop sinning because they want to love more.
One way we avoid threatening Face is by using “I” messages. These messages describe how a situation or event made you feel. They are your personal, interior accounts of the conflict. Ordinarily, you would make statements that seem to accuse the other person. You might say, “you did this or you did that.” But, now, with an “I” message, you replace the words “you did” with “I felt.”
Peacemakers probably do not anticipate being called upon to be detectives, but Destructive Hidden Influences make this necessary. Peacemakers must become sleuths in the tradition of Columbo, the television detective.
How does a peacemaker know a Destructive Hidden Influence is at work? Evidence is found in the irrational or illogical fears expressed by parties. Evidence is found in the distrust that lingers when it should have dissipated. Evidence lies in the damaged relationship that is unusually difficult to heal. Fear, distrust, and hostility are signs of a Destructive Hidden Influence.