The message from heaven to earth the night of Christ's birth was "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men". Luke 2:14 The word "gospel" means good news. The good news of the Gospel was summed up by the angel that night to the shepherds. The God of Heaven was sending a gift to humanity; it was a gift that was immeasurable in worth and completely irreplaceable and was proof of a God reconciling a sinful race to Himself. Proof that God's heart toward man was conciliatory, not hostile. The ultimate overture of peace and good will was wrapped up in that unique baby.
Compare that nativity announcement with the words of Christ some thirty years later, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." Matt. 10:34-35 KJV
How do we reconcile these two messages? Why do Christians so often emphasize the one and ignore the other? I don't know why. But here's my thought for the season.
The good news announced in Luke 2:14 is the message of reconciliation and peace between God and humanity. No promise has been made that we will have peace between man and man. In fact, the opposite is promised as illustrated by Christ's statement in Matt. 10.
In other words, it is very possible to have peace and reconciliation between you and God, but be at variance with members of your own household. Other versions of the Bible say "a man's enemies will be those of his own household." Enemy. Strong word. Christ makes an unequivocal statement that family will often be a person's worst enemy.
How is this possible?
Truth is divisive. No getting around it. Since the word truth is subject to multiple definitions, I'll state it this way. Truth is reality. Truth isn't different from person to person when we are talking about reality. When someone holds to true and right principles, when they refuse to live in non-reality, those who have no principles find themselves extremely annoyed. To say the least. Someone who adheres to principle is a living irritation and rebuke to those who would throw off all constraint on their behavior.
You've experienced this with the narcissist. If you refused to capitulate to his lies, his history revisionism, his grandiose fantasies of himself, his petulant demands, you've also experienced his wrath. You've found yourself suddenly at war. A war he declared. You've tried and tried and tried again to live in peace with this person, but the moment you insist on living in reality, a reality he disapproves of, you find yourself engaged in a battle. This is the inevitable division that occurs when one person loves the truth and another "loves and makes a lie". Rev. 22:15
My Christmas wish to all you dear readers of this blog is that you will experience the peace with God which is freely given, and that you will not feel that being hated, repudiated, separated from, or abused by a narcissistic family member or your entire family is some kind of sign of being unloved by God, for it means no such thing. The more you have stood on truth-based reality and refused to believe the lies and fantasies of the narcissist, the more you've experienced their vitriol. This is the order of things. Those who hate the truth and love lies will naturally hate you if you insist on living in the truth.
This blog is about truth. It is about reality. It is about exposing the lies of the narcissist. It is about finding true spiritual freedom from the tyranny of those who embrace evil and lies. Loving the truth will give you peace with God and peace with those of humanity who also love truth. Expect, though, that loving the truth is a guarantee that you will have enemies. And it is likely those enemies will be of your "own household". Don't be surprised when it happens.
Having enemies is not how you measure God's attitude toward you. Don't listen to the do-gooders who would imply or even outright state that if you are not reconciled with your family then you are not in good standing with God. If a division is made because you are standing up for good and right principles, then the division is not your fault. Sacrificing integrity for peace will ultimately result in no integrity and, at best, a temporary truce with evil. Which means if you sacrifice integrity for peace you will have no integrity and no peace at the end of the day.
Embrace truth and let the chips fall where they may. Expose the evil in your midst and make a stand for the real victims of the predators among us. If that victim is you, then stand up for yourself. Only by exposing and denouncing evil do we stand a chance of keeping it in check.
"In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousandfold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers. . . we are ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations."
Merry Christmas from my heart to yours, and many wishes for a wonderful new year. May each of us do our part to build up the foundations of justice for new generations this coming year.