“I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.” — Psalm 120:7
I relate to the verse above less than I wish I did.
In reality, I often find myself being for peace, but when they speak, I am for war.
It is easy to be for peace when things are peaceful. But being for peace when you see people threatening, deceiving, and maligning is another matter. War rises up in the chest. The fiery, reactive energy of Mars quickens the pulse and short-circuits the deliberative mind.
Words reverberate an energy, and not always what the speaker intends. The Psalmist was attempting to speak peace, but his words caused a warlike reaction in the listeners.
I have practiced at speaking peace while everyone is for war. I have tried to resist being for war when I hear provocative speech. Sometimes it works, but not often.
Instead, the most peaceful words I’ve found are no words at all.
Times when I just walk away from the words that would make for war, I am able to regain a feeling of peace. Times when I speak back, no matter how hard I try to do so in peace, I feel conflict rise inside me, and follow me throughout the day.
Peace and silence have a tight relationship, just as war and words do.