Ignore, pocket, and muffle

I’m a peacekeeper. I avoid even the hint of conflict. In most circumstances, I don’t make waves, confront, or question. I’m reluctant to push back. Not when it really matters, anyway.

I hesitate to speak my mind in front of those who would likely disagree with my particular point of view. Maybe I’m afraid they won’t like me. Maybe I’m not sure I know enough to sound convincing.

To be sure, this has been particularly challenging for the last three or four years, given the high anxiety and tension in religious and political arenas.

So, I share my opinions, passions, and strong feelings – far too often, some might say – only with those of a like mind or those who already consider me crazy but love me anyway. Even then, I’m often afraid that I’ll just go on and on, fray your nerves and, as always, say too much about too little to too many.

And many times I take on the role of The Buffer – even at the expense of my own comfort – to make sure there are no ripples in the water or pebbles in your shoe.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not bragging about any of this because it truly is not an admirable quality and certainly not Biblical.

The thing is, I’m a peacekeeper because I get the whole “put others first” wrong.

We are told Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)

“Others are more.”

“I am less.”

Got it.

So, when I am wounded, I try to ignore the pain. When I disagree, I tend to put what is important to me in my pocket. When I am passionate about something, I muffle my heart. I’m doing it right, right?

But then I read

We are children of God because of our faith in him.
(Galatians 3:26/paraphrased)

Sons and daughters of the King of the World, brothers and sisters of Jesus, Savior of the World. It’s too much to comprehend.

I am a Child of God.

I would never, ever in a million years tell Ana or Andy or Asher or Audrey – or Rene, Remelle, Cheri, Bill – or Addy, Jordy, Enne, Taao, Tarin, Tanner, Deni – or Max, Tucker, Dexter, Niamh, Efa, Tadhg, Eilidh – or your kids or their kids – or you to hide or disappear or be less than. You are all such precious gifts …

Go, be the wonders you are.
Bring your light to this sad and lonely world.
You are prized.
You are loved.
You are Children of God.

Why can’t I remember God never told me to be less than myself either? Less than a whole person, less than a daughter of the Most High King. Why, then do I ignore, pocket, and muffle?

Simple. I remember only half the sentence. I look at end of Philippians 2:3 and count myself as nothing. I count myself as nothing not because I am humble but because “I don’t count.” Not because, like Jesus, I have the heart of a servant, but because I believe I have nothing more to offer than things meaningless and trivial.

No, Nancy, you are not nothing.

You are not even less than. You are a treasured daughter of the Most High King. That will never, ever change. You can’t do anything or fail to do anything that will keep you from the deep, deep love of Jesus.

No one can. Not ever.

To be clear, being a peacekeeper is significantly different than being a peacemaker and we can talk more about that sometime soon. Stay tuned.

But for now, my lovelies, for all of us who think we have less to contribute than those with big platforms, those who have “studied the Scriptures,” and those with just more moxy, let’s just agree to listen closely to Jesus and remember how much He loves us.

Because in God’s eyes, our wounds, beliefs, and passions are not less than or insignificant. What we bring to the conversation or the relationship is both relevant and important.

And many of us have had that wrong for a long time.

Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons and daughters of God. 

1 John 3:1 (KJV)

Until we write and read again, I pray for you …

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