Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
but those who plan peace have joy.
Delve into the heart of the evil-doer and you will find a heart filled with lies. There are the lies he has in store for others lies by which to cheat, to manipulate, to do whatever he thinks necessary to obtain joy.
There are the lies he tells to himself lies by which to rationalize his evil, to hide his evil from himself, to convince himself that he has joy or at least deserves it. There are the lies for God lies by which to manipulate God or to contend against God or to deny God, all for the sake of obtaining his version of joy.
And then there are those who plan peace they desire peace with their neighbors. They desire peace for their neighbors. They are thankful for the peace of God granted to them, and they strive to see that peace manifested in their lives and in the world. Such persons have joy, for peace is joy. Peace is free from resentment and bitterness. It is free from enmity. It has no need for deceit, no one to cheat or to manipulate. It already obtains within itself the joy that the evil-doer bitterly strives to obtain.
All the more sense, then, that joy and peace come together for Christmas. For the joy of those who recognize the gift is that God has sent his Son to make everlasting peace.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2021 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org