Do you have any “drama mamas” in your life? You know who they are—they thrive on conflict and tension. They love gossip (rebranding it as “news about friends”). They draw energy from arguments and fights. Perhaps since they are unhappy themselves, they selfishly want to drag others into their swamp of negativity.
It’s not hard to thrive on conflict—you just surrender to the devil’s pull. Arguing can be fun in a way—there’s a big charge of adrenaline and you feel alive. You feel morally or intellectually superior to someone else. If you had the foresight to recruit cheerleaders in advance, you have a posse with which to rehash the conflict, chalk up wins, and recap your best lines. But not a one of these things brings happiness, not a one builds real friendships, and not a one of them comes from the Spirit.
You know why not? Because “the fruit of the Spirit is . . . peace” (Galatians 5:22). The Spirit of God teaches us a whole new set of behaviors: to defuse instead of intensifying tension . . . to listen first, listen again, and talk later . . . to think the best of people until proven otherwise . . . to look for things to praise in people rather than ridicule . . . to find more joy in reconciling two people than in provoking and enjoying a fight . . . to choose to be genuinely happy for other people’s achievements.
If Christ is the Prince of peace, then I guess his followers should strive to be Dukes and Duchesses of peace.