Peace: Do You Actually Know What the Highest Destroyer Is?

According to a study by the Rand Corporation the highest destroyer of peace is mistrust. I think it goes deeper. I believe the number one destroyer of peace is pride. How about you? Let me share three reasons why I believe the answer is pride.

Pride is about control, peace is found in giving up control

The Rand Corporation conducted its study in the context of the Middle East Conflict. Mistrust runs deep. But whether an external conflict between nations or neighbors or an internal conflict, I believe mistrust is the result of pride. I think the core of not trusting oneself or not trusting someone else is a failure to trust God. It’s an old problem.

Our first parents failed to trust God when Satan caused them to question God’s goodness and plan for them. Satan’s plan looked better. Eat the forbidden fruit and control your destiny as you gain wisdom to decide for yourself what is right or wrong. Pride is what cast Satan out of heaven and pride is his gift to mankind. Control your destiny. Assert your rights. It is more important to be right than to be reconciled.

Pride is destructive, peace is constructive

The irony is in seizing control Adam and Eve lost peace. Now work and relationships would be hard. The joy of work and relationships would be shattered by shame. Instead of peaceful creation, there was proud destruction. Now things would only get worse as the first murder soon follows and we have been killing ourselves in our hearts and with our words if not our actions ever since.

Pride asserts rights. You know what is best and others need to listen to you. The need to be heard in a noisy world grows so strong that you will sacrifice relationships for the sake of being right. As the proverb states, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”  Prov. 16:18.

A proud person does not know peace. There is no justice in their paths. Isa. 59:8. Justice is only justice as it applies to them. Pride tears down others in the name of justice, but this is simply an abuse of power. Justice is not defined by us. Justice belongs to God. As Isaiah declares,

The Lord’s justice will dwell in the desert,
    his righteousness lives in the fertile field.
The fruit of that righteousness will be peace;
    its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.
My people will live in peaceful dwelling places,
    in secure homes,
    in undisturbed places of rest. Isa. 32:16-18.

Pride is about you, peace is about others

Pride makes all things revolve around you. Peace makes all things revolve around God. In Persevering Power, I share that I am a recovering proud pharisee. I struggled at an early age with others not listening to me. I knew best. I sought to prove it by becoming a highly successful lawyer. I achieved power through pride but not peace. I discovered peace in setting pride aside. Do you know the story?

After closing my lucrative law practice, I began the ministry Administer Justice and found myself all alone in a little 8×10 office. Angry at God for demanding too much in giving up my position, power, money, and control, I shook my fist at him and cried out, “What am I doing here?”

He answered. “My will for whatever you do for one of the least of these you do unto me.”

As pride melted, I fell to my knees and in an instant recognized one simple truth: Life is not about me. Life is about how God can use me in the loving service of others.

How about you? Have you come to that realization? All that you have and all that you are belong to God. You are not a self-made man or woman. God made you and he has purpose for you found in dying to yourself and living for Him and others. He is your Prince of Peace and you will find peace in letting go of pride. “Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you.” Job 22:21.

Keep persevering.