The pathway to the end of violence is Truth. And that Truth is Christ. I love this line, “Christ in us is the recovery or discovery of our original truthfulness, our unmasked selves…”
Lately, I’m very aware at how dis-integrated my inward life remains. I’m not getting down on myself or depressed about it. I’m just aware that after years of being saturated in the Christ-Truth, that I’m not fully integrated. And my dis-integration fuels forms of violence like pride, greed, lust, judgmentalism, pessimism, fear, anger, and the like. And often, my immediate reaction when these forms of violence surface and expose my inward dis-integration is to rationalize or cover-up.
But the pathway to the end of violence, both inward and outward, is Truth. It is the Truth that is Christ, that both exposes my dis-integration and its resulting sins and then performs my much-needed re-integration as an image-bearer. The Apostle Paul says it like this:
“You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
To put off the old (dis-integrated) self being corrupted by its deceitful desires. To be made new in the attitude (truth) of my mind. To put on the new (re-integrated) self, created to be like God. This is the path of formation — the rehabilitation of the self as God’s image-bearer. And it is the path to the end of violence.
Lord, please make me a man of peace.