It's a Mistake- Not the End of the World

 All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes. Winston Churchill 

A mistake repeated more than once is a decision. Unknown

If you're like me and willing to admit it, you've made some mistakes in your life.  People make mistakes all the time simply because we are human. Some of us own up to those mistakes and take the steps to refine our character or repair any damages we may have caused, while others may shrink in fear of their mistakes or continue to repeat the same ones over and over. Whichever camp we find ourselves in, wise or unwise, mistakes are not the end of the world or even the end of us. We are not losers if we make them, and we are not perfect if we seemingly skate through life never making one. I laugh because we should all realize that no one is perfect, but it would be nice if we could live a flawless life sometimes and just avoid all the muck and mire we create. 

We can sure beat ourselves up over our mistakes, though, can't we? From the minor mishaps to the really big doozies, and those are all subject to our own definitions, some of us have a really hard time with our own slip-ups. When our imperfections lead to outward mistakes, it can be a sticky situation for those who like to hide behind a perfect facade of "having it all together."  Pride is one of our most obvious mistakes, because it fools us into thinking we are fooling everyone else! Funny thing about pride; it's pretty transparent, and the wise always see right through it. 

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 

1 John 1:8-9

Admitting we made a mistake is never easy, especially when we have to admit that the mistake could be a result of a string of behavior or emotions that we haven't addressed.  Continuing to replay the incident over and over in our minds and assaulting ourselves with punishment only keeps us parked in a state of self-loathing and unforgiveness. Pride often keeps us from telling anyone about the mistake, rectifying the mistake, or dealing with it at all. Of all the people to tell about our mistakes, God is the One who can actually handle them. If we go to God with complete repentance in our hearts, and a desire to change, He will forgive us and show us what we need in order to move forward, but we will have to go about things His way instead of the way we've been going. We have to believe that with God, we will be able to make this mistake something good, and even if not good, we will be a better person at the end of it, regardless of the outcome. Some of my mistakes didn't feel good at the end of the lesson, but it was a consequence of my own doing, and I don't think it was supposed to feel good. I think it did what it was meant to do, and I learned. I'm never doing that again! 

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:6-7

When we make a mistake or keep making the same mistakes, sometimes it's a way for God to show us that we need to make a real change in an area of our lives that we have been neglecting.  Maybe it's our studies, our physical health, our finances, relationships, career, but God will use our mistakes to grow us, protect us, and show us those areas where we have lost focus.  It's always amazing to me to see what God has done with my errant behavior, after I asked for help. It's never what I expect!  We only have to be willing to allow Him to come in and rearrange our thinking and maybe a few out of place areas of our hearts. It doesn't feel great at the time, but if we are patient and can understand that the outcome is for our benefit, we will allow it. Like a parent who says, "this is building your character", is God who actually does build our character. 

 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7 

I didn't even know I was contributing to my own downfall until I kept making the same mistakes over and over. We aren't always aware of our own missteps. This is pretty evident in the world today. We are pretty shortsighted sometimes when it comes to our own lives. I saw the quote, "Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a long time making it," and it's so true. Sometimes we think it's so far gone that we should just go with whatever we find ourselves stuck in. We don't stop and take our own inventory but we do a lot of complaining about the things that aren't working, and we criticize others to oblivion. We make a lot of excuses for our own behavior and we can even make them sound pretty credible and valid as a way to protect them. It's not easy to admit our faults to ourselves sometimes, but if we want to overcome them, we have to get real. We have to be courageous if we want to change, and we also have to humble ourselves and care more about what God knows than what other people think of our missteps! It's not about them. 

Treat people who make mistakes the way you would want God to deal with you when you make mistakes. Unknown 

 Personal mistakes can be an accurate barometer of our own lives. What keeps repeating that is not contributing to a successful, joyful existence?  Is it overeating or overspending, or constant issues in relationships, career problems? Are there feelings of anger, rejection, jealousy, envy, bitterness, and other self-destructive thoughts? What is the common denominator? Pray and ask God for enlightenment. Admit to God what your weaknesses are, and if you aren't even aware of them, ask Him to show you what they are and then listen. Ask Him to give you strength and clarity and the knowledge to move out of that messy life into a fruitful one.  Life is not just "happening" to us. There are things we are allowing because we are not aware of how we are contributing to our own issues. There are mistakes we make out of a lack of wisdom and knowledge, and there are some we make because we fail to pray, think, and wait.  God's word is available to us, and God is available to us to get us through all the areas of our lives that threaten to trip us up and knock us right over.  

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5 

God will give you wisdom and direction if you show Him that you want to do things His way. We'll still make mistakes, after all, we are still human. But we can get right back on track with the growth of our character and the faith that we are intentionally building with God. It's not our mistakes that will define who we are. It is how we rectify our mistakes and the person we are becoming along the way. We don't need to waste time running from problems, hiding behind pride and false humility, or pretending we never make a mistake. While it is so important to get real with ourselves in order to see where we got off track, it is also just as imperative to be gentle and forgiving with ourselves as we open up new territory. A mistake is not the end of the world, and it is not the end of us. It can be the beginning of change, if we choose to see it that way. 

All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16

Take Me Where Your Heart Is

 "Love seeks one thing only: the good of the one loved. It leaves all the other secondary effects to take care of themselves. Love, therefore, is its own reward." -Thomas Merton 

Everything I've learned about love throughout my life has been through experience-trial, error, a little success, and lots of failure. Love is one of those things you can't learn or be by watching. It is an active, all hands-on, mind, soul, heart, and body invested, vulnerable immersion. Sometimes it feels like the biggest, warmest hug ever, and sometimes it leaves you completely shattered, tear-stained and broken, but the end result doesn't change. It's still love at the end, because love will always have its way. So was it really failure? Maybe the desired outcome wasn't what I expected, but love did its job while it was there. 1 Corinthians 13:8 Love never fails. 

As people, we can be fickle, narrow-minded, impatient, downright rude, and do I even need to say this-not always loving or even well-intentioned.  Sometimes we rely selfishly on our opinions and our "feelings" instead of doing and saying what is right.  We're not exactly reliable when it comes to following our hearts or even our brains! We've gotten ourselves lost so many times even the best GPS couldn't get us out! We make so many faux pas when it comes to relating with others. We can be sizzling hot messes at times. Prideful, angry, egotistical, right-fighting, unloving dolts. 

But we were created by God because he wanted us-these completely imperfect beings. We were created by and for love, and Jesus died for us because He loved US. That is an amount of perfect love we cannot even grasp or measure. And even after all that, our imperfect love has a purpose too, and a great one at that. So even if we make mistakes in love, it can still turn out good because love has redemptive qualities, and we can show vulnerability through those mistakes. When we let our guards down and put our hearts on the line, we can allow God to be seen through our messes.  When we love like Jesus, it's a beautiful example of what God had in mind for us, because it reflects His love for us, and shows others how to love too. 1 John 4:7-9  Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 

Loving people can actually come fairly easy, but sometimes liking them can be another story! I mean, just smile at me, and I will immediately like you. Make me laugh and it's instant love! Most of us are pretty easy to win over.  It's the human part of us that looks to common interests and shared values to bond us together, and then we become friends. It's so easy to love our friends because they are like us, and it's not work to accept them. But we weren't asked to just love our friends. We were commanded to love people we don't like, and that includes enemies, and those horrible people "out there." Matthew 5:44-46 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?

There are some things people do that are heinous and terrible, and we shrink at the thought of them, let alone loving people like that. What does it look like to love one another when we are clearly living in a world full of evil? All I know is that the first One to put evil to rest was the love of God. If we are to love like Christ, then it makes sense to be compassionate when given the opportunity to love in those difficult situations. We have to remember that we are not alone in fighting the evil in the world. Ephesians 6:10-11 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.  I probably say this too much, but our job is not to judge and prosecute other people. It is to love people, and when we do that, we are in a better position to change situations and help what is going on around us. Judgment only creates rigidness, where love creates flexibility, opportunity, and action. I hate evil and wrongdoing just as much as anyone does, but the source of evil should be our main target. Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 

Do you love people who don't love you back? I think most people can think of someone, whether family or friend, who we continue to reach for, and they prickle at our attempts. We can still love someone, even if it's not returned, because we were created to love, and love is at its heart, goodness and kindness. It doesn't matter if it is unwanted or unreturned, because the act of loving is something we are and not something we do. We don't give love to someone to get something back, and if we are, then we need to reevaluate. If we're wanting returns on all our love investments, it has become conditional at some level. If pure love is always in our heart, we will always walk away having been what we set out to be, even if we walk away empty-handed or alone. We can still "seek the good of the one loved" and keep them in our prayers, even if they aren't in our physical lives.  Hey, did I say it was easy? 

My "first love" just dumped me one day without an explanation. I wanted to scream, "Hey, wasn't I even worth a goodbye?", but I eventually accepted God's decision. Real love is respectful. Compassionate. I wasn't ever going to find it there. It took too long for me to forgive, but love does that too. Love is calm, deep, and soft-hearted, so that we can have the ability to forgive when it is hard. Love transforms us into gentler, more humble people, and gives us the confidence to be good to those who aren't good to us. Forgiveness allows us to move on and love again too, in due time.  That's how powerful love can be, if we allow love to live fully into our hearts. If we allow God completely into our lives. Luke 10:27 He answered, " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind' and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself." 

I believe love is its own reward, and I am also a subscriber of "it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." I've sat through enough weddings and funerals to experience the depths of these transformations of love. At a recent wedding, the officiant spoke such powerful words of the union of love, that I actually felt the presence of God right there in the building. God IS love. He is there in the covenant of the sweet marriage of two young souls. At the memorial service where grief hangs, heavy and deep. He is everywhere, whether we are rejoicing or in sorrow.  Ephesians 3:17-19 And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 

Love should always make you better. It should always bring out the best version of you. It is self-disciplined, doing the right thing even when it's hard, and is honest and kind. It is compassionate, thoughtful, considerate, willing to listen and willing to communicate and comprehend, and determined to seek peace in all situations. Love is patient and it is persistent. While it may retreat, it never gives up, because love loves even when it isn't loved. It is trusting and protective of itself and its own, and protects others. Love admits mistakes, corrects them, and seeks forgiveness as well as forgives.  Love will sacrifice without a second thought. Love wants you to be closer to God. Love believes actions but has little faith in words. Love is patient and love never fails.  (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)

Butterflies in Bloom

 But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. 

Job 12:7-10

As spring finally makes its slow arrival here, I am eagerly awaiting the fluttering of butterflies on my lilac blooms. It always seems to take forever for spring to get here, and then another eternity for summer. It always seems like we just get our pool open and it's already time to close it down for fall. The seasons are feeling shorter and shorter, and I don't know why that is. When I was a child, summer felt like it went on endlessly, and so did a long, hot day at the beach. Now I'm watching the days fly by and my life go along with it, and trying to hold on to every moment like it's my last. When I finally start seeing butterflies on the lilacs, it feels like all is right with the world! 

 I remember a beautiful day at the beach in Petoskey when suddenly I found myself the target of an enamored butterfly. It was fluttering around me, so I put my hand out to it, and it landed on my finger and then gently flitted around my face and shoulders. We all went silent, just watching it play with me and my joyful reaction.  This was one of those moments that I wanted time to stop, and every time I look at those pictures, I just sink into that feeling of joy. 

People say butterflies are a sign that a loved one who passed is visiting. I'm not sure I think that, but I would like to think God gives us moments in nature to heal our souls, and if a visit from a butterfly is what brings us joy, then He will use a butterfly. 

I've been thinking about the life cycle of a butterfly and all the steps it must go through in order to become a beautiful winged creature. A butterfly lays it eggs on a leaf that must be undisturbed long enough to become a caterpillar, then the caterpillar needs to eat and then transform into a chrysalis. It must be completely still so predators will leave it alone, and then it will eventually emerge as a butterfly with beautiful wings. Even after this, the wings need to dry and harden to ready it for flight.  This metamorphosis takes about 3 weeks, but so much can happen between each stage, it's amazing butterflies survive at all. 

There is a metamorphosis of people that we don't see as well. If you were to read some of my earlier writings, you may have one impression of me. If you read something I wrote from two years ago, you may have another. But if you read something from last month, you may get yet another. This doesn't mean I'm wishy-washy in my convictions, but it does show I'm capable of growth and change. I may have strong feelings and opinions on a Monday, but have a conversation with a wise person on a Tuesday and completely change my views. I want to be more open and more willing to search out what God wants me to say instead of what I want to say. I invite opportunities to grow my perspective and knowledge, and I don't want to be stuck in wrong thinking if that's the case.  But if a person is stuck seeing my caterpillar stage, they will never get to know me as a butterfly. 

but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 

1 Corinthians 13:10-12

Butterflies really take a big risk, and so should we. There are times we need to hang in a quiet chrysalis for awhile and think about what we've said or done, what we've gone through, or how we presented ourselves. We may need to make some adjustments while we're sitting still, and risk looking dull and lifeless for awhile. We could get knocked off our branches, eaten by predators, written off as "ugly," or maybe those who really know us will understand that it's a life cycle of change, and the breakthrough is coming. 

Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends. 

Proverbs 17:9 

It makes me wonder how many people we are still thinking of as caterpillars because of something that happened years ago, and we haven't even thought that maybe they think differently now, and they've long flown that image we had. How many friends have we lost because we heard something we didn't like and we didn't care enough to stick around and get the rest of the story? To see the rest of their cycle through? 

I have yet to completely find my wings every day. I have caterpillar days, chrysalis days, and sometimes even egg days. What I hope to find are other wet-winged butterflies who understand that life is a cycle of growth, and we don't always present our best self. I won't always say the right or best thing, but I'm always willing to communicate if someone cares enough to ask me what I meant. Grace is a two-way gift that helps me understand that others need the same understanding that I do in order to keep going strong. We can get each other through every stage of life and it can be beautiful in the end. 

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

1 Peter 4:8

Peace: It's All About Us (In Three Parts!)

 We have lost sight of the fact that we human beings are, in one respect, like small animals without even any fur or sharp teeth to protect us. What protects us is not our viciousness, but our humanity; our ability to love others and accept the love that others want to offer us. It is not our toughness that keeps us warm at night, but our tenderness which makes others want to keep us warm. 

Harold Lyon, Tenderness is Strength

PART ONE: It's Not All About Us

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Philippians 4:5

In a world where war, civil disputes, serious crime, and conflicts are constant and inevitable, we are surrounded by viciousness, violence, and hate.  Because of instant technology, we have access to violence and anger updates 24/7 on our phones, in our homes, and at our jobs. If someone famous, or anyone really, makes a terrible gaffe at 9am, the entire world will know about it by noon the same day.  We are inundated with bad news and gossip if we allow ourselves to engage. And even if we try not to, someone will most likely inform us of something we don't even care to know. My husband was pumping gas and was subject to a man's ranting about gas prices and whose fault it really was! Not eager to have a negative discussion with a complete stranger, and thankful for the loud trucks drowning out his complaints, he simply nodded and carried on. We don't have to engage in every discussion we are invited to, remembering some people just want to vent. (Remember this for later on)

This is what the Lord Almighty said: 'Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.' Zechariah 7:9-10 

Jesus was the example of true justice, mercy, and compassion. He put us above His own interests, and we weren't exactly the examples of great friends and family when He did that for us. He gave all of his life so that we could have any life of our own at all, let alone any of those rights, privileges, and ambitions we are always squawking on about. We complain about all the negativity in the world, but don't even realize that we are becoming the bullhorn and billboard for it as we repeat it over and over. We sometimes get so stuck on ourselves and our own selfish ways that we forget the state of others altogether. We forget to ask someone how they are doing before we dump a load of garbage on them. We forget to consider that not everyone sees something the same way we do, and therefore may not respond in the same way, and get annoyed at them. We get tunnel vision easily when we are all about ourselves and our own interests. Not only do we forget others, but we forget God too. 

Once we take our eyes away from ourselves, from our interests, from our own rights, privileges, ambitions-then they will become clear to see Jesus around us. Mother Teresa

2020 was a time when mob mentality became stronger for some than family and friendship ties. When people began to bond over hating the same things, instead of loving the same thing. It's never a true connection to just jump in a group of strangers and hate on something together, though people who don't have something more solid to hold onto may find it's the best connection they've ever had. If we are in Christ together and being who He says we are, then we would not be hating at all, but finding our way back to each other in a way that glorifies Him. If we love Him and if we love each other. When you begin to put your own interests above the people you say you love, you no longer consider that person. They become collateral damage in your quest to prove something that is clearly more important to you than them. 

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27 

 That is not just a command, but also an individual decision that we each need to make in order to have true and meaningful relationships with others, and common respect among strangers. (Yes, I just referred to love as a decision, because it is) Anything else we may forge will eventually break and be floating on the surface. If we are not rooted in Christ, we will be uprooted at the first signs of a storm. This is how my friendships were tested in 2020. One would survive, and one would not. God was in one, but not the other. 

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3,4 

 PART TWO: The Silent Goodbye 

My decades-long friendship went off the rails after a few exchanges that finally resulted in a complete derailment and fire. Looking back, I would have engaged much differently, however, at the time I allowed my emotions, ego, and pride to do as they pleased. All of those things, when combined with those of another, will never result in a positive conversation or resolution of any kind. And God was not invited to the conversation. Big mistake. At that point, it was two people speaking into the wind, going in opposite tornadic directions. I couldn't blame the other person for choosing not to respond to me ever again. What I was hoping to accomplish was one thing, but my wounded self said another. 

I've done similar things with friends in the past. I haven't always had the best relationship skills. I didn't always know the Lord. I was defensive, insecure, wore my heart on my sleeve, and was very prideful. My wounded ego caused me to be hurt easily, so even if told the truth, I wouldn't probably take it well. How can I fault someone for reacting the exact same way I have done in the past? I used to be like hugging a porcupine. I used to be hiding behind a huge brick wall that I built around myself.  I used to be smiling with my arms folded to keep everyone out and then cry when they left. I get being protective of yourself and fighting hard for the things you believe. Until I met God and let Him guide and love that wild part of me.  So, yeah. I should have been the one to know better how to speak, respond, and let things go, but the old me let her wounds talk instead because I was speaking out of sheer hurt and rejection and a mixture of anger and disappointment. The new me also knows that when God allows someone to walk out the door without even looking back after a decades long relationship, maybe He was holding the door, and He also holds the key should there ever be a knock. 

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12 

We weren't actually fighting about political sides, masks, the government, or any other hot-button pandemic issue. I cared about my friend regardless of their position on any of those things. We were fighting against the very things that were put there in order to cause division among us all. They were angry and fearful and so was I, but about completely opposite things, and I no longer recognized my friend as someone I even knew, and that was the element I was fighting. I was fighting someone I could no longer find a common ground with, and it scared me. They no longer saw my decades of trust, my acceptance, my respect, or any of the good they once believed in. They saw me as an adversary, and there was nothing I could say or do to change that. That was so confusing to me, and God does not bring confusion into relationships. That comes from an evil place. 

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18 

 I eventually re-approached the situation in the softest way I could with this person, and I have not and probably will not hear back. It is impossible to resolve issues with those who close off from you entirely. Something that has been fiercely difficult for me to learn through this experience is that no matter how much we want explanations or closure in a situation, we are not always owed that, and even if we think we are, we may not always have the benefit of that. We have to just pick up and move on. This is one of those situations where grace steps in and allows me to put the band-aid on the blister and wait for it to heal, understanding that others will not always be involved in helping us heal the wounds they may have salted. We may not be 100% responsible for the rub, but we are responsible for our healing. Part of that healing is being willing to forgive myself for my part, forgive the other person, and ask God to work out the rest. We should always desire to be at peace with everyone with whom we interact. This is how we show the light of Christ. 

The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:4

We can trust God for healthy friendships and for positive interactions. We can ask Him to guide our conversations with outsiders. It has been a difficult season of engaging with others. This experience served me well only in that it shed light on the fact that gentleness is not only a better way to approach others, but it is necessary. In a time when people aren't agreeing about some very hot topic items, we need to be aware that our words can not only offend, but they can also heal. Even though I am sad about the broken friendship, I realize that in trusting God for my relationships, there is a purpose for every bad experience we go through with people too. I didn't intend to hurt my friend, and they didn't intend to hurt me. But what is done with that hurt will be in the growing of our character and how we conduct ourselves going forward with others. It is imperative to have a friend you can trust, and someone that can not only speak truth into your life, but someone who also allows you to speak truth into theirs. I thought I had that with this person, but some very fundamental things were missing. 
PART THREE: Be The Light 

My dear friend Norm ( became my dear friend because he cut through my garbage and told me the truth. He told me the truth because he cared about me and the state of my life and hoped/knew that I would receive it.  In accepting that wisdom and accountability, the friendship grew, and so did my knowledge of myself and God. (I'd like to think!) . It can be intimidating if you allow your pride to hear that wisdom speaking into your life and you're still wanting to hold on to your own ways of thinking and doing things. But it can be very freeing to listen and put new action into place when someone who is succeeding in life wants to help you succeed too. It is a rare find to have a friend who tells you the truth these days, or to be allowed to speak truth to someone. We have to humble ourselves if we ever want to grow and become better, and honestly, to become closer to people. I thank God that Norm listens to the Lord and relays His word to me. That is how I can trust Norm's wise guidance. If we want to help our friends, we should be praying for them. As Norm puts it, our friendship holds up to God's scrutiny because God is also in the friendship. Perhaps this is the ultimate reason we need to pursue godly friendships. My friend was not open to a friendship with God, and when push came to shove, the traits of a godly friendship were not there to save our crumbling relationship. My advice to any who may be going through a friendship trial is to do as I've been doing, pray for that person. It's really a very loving thing to do for anyone. 

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

It won't be our viciousness in how we fight for things, our hills we die on, our stubbornness and firmly planted feet, that will show how much we believe in a thing or love a person. It will be our gentleness, our tenderness, and our willingness to be humble and soft at at time when it would be easier to be ferocious and self-righteous. We need to understand that "keeping the peace" doesn't mean being quiet. It means knowing when to speak and with the wisdom you've attained from God, how to speak it with love. To allow a person to be who they are, while still loving them enough to confront a negative behavior because you actually care about their peace and well-being too. And if you get pushback, to be able to leave your pride at the door and let the results rest with God. That's the peace we can all have when we let God be the light in us. 

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16