As we study “God’s Mission: My Mission” this quarter in our Sabbath School lessons (see my commentary on them, The Teacher’s Notes), we are initially left speechless when we learn about the current atrocities happening in the Mideast, Africa, and Eastern Europe. It seems all we can do is to pray for those in harm’s way. And yet, our prayers often seem powerless in the face of such horrific violence.
We long to participate in a mission that will bring peace to suffering humanity in war-torn parts of the world. Vengeful retaliation does not feel like an ethical response nor a permanent solution. Only the Prince of Peace can bring everlasting peace to our ravaged, chaotic world. Diplomacy then, conversations of peace, must be our primary tool for resolution of these problems.
Thankfully, God has given us guidance on what we can do and say to promote peace. We can start with those closest to us—our family, friends, neighbors, fellow believers. Loving words and actions have a tendency to extend farther than we can imagine. The peace in our hearts and with each other begins exactly wherever God has placed us. Acts 1:8
Certainly, actions do speak louder than words, but words are pretty powerful too. Our words can either bless or curse our listeners. They can either foster peace, or they can destroy and defeat all our attempts to share God’s message of love and justice, leaving us with anxiety and without hope and peace in our hearts.
As 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, reveals, words of humility, patience, and kindness represent the kind of love required to push back the forces of evil in our lives. As we learned from Ephesians 6 last quarter, our struggles with the evil one are spiritual. They must be fought with spiritual weapons, words and attitudes that incorporate righteousness, truth, God’s saving grace, the Holy Spirit, and prayer.
In 1992, many were introduced to the five love languages from best-selling author Gary Chapman. And thirty years later, we can now learn about The Six Conversations, a book by Heather Holleman.
The digital age we live in, let alone the isolating pandemic many of us have experienced the last few years, has led to a loss in how to have deep, connecting conversations with each other.
This book will help you obtain or renew that skill, whether you feel a great need for it or not. Personally, I thought I was doing alright with my communication, until I got to the chapter on how to avoid the ten pitfalls we have in our conversations. To be sure, I discovered that I struggle with many of them.
I truly believe this short, thought-provoking book about the six conversations (which may even be in your local public library) will enable many of us to be better witnesses for the Lord, better recipients and givers of the peace so many are thirsting for in our troubled times. It may even improve our prayer life, which are conversations with our heavenly Father, and allow our intercessory prayers to help bring the lasting world peace we long for.