They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. (Mic. 4:3)

IN THE UNITED NATIONS GARDEN in New York City stands a statue donated by the former Soviet Union in 1959. It features the likeness of a muscular man holding a hammer in one hand and a sword in the other. He grips the hammer high over his head as if he is about to bring it down against the sword, which he is beating into a plowshare. In fact, the base of the statue bears the inscription, “We shall beat our swords into plowshares.”

How fascinating that in our secular world, a nation that described itself as atheistic would donate a statue using a paraphrase of a Bible verse found in both Isaiah (2:4) and in Micah. It symbolizes the age-old desire to take the weapons of war and transform them into instruments of peace. A noble aspiration!

Yet some of us have lived long enough to be convinced that peace will come to this world only when the Prince of Peace is seated at the conference table. Meanwhile, we wrangle over terminology and the seating arrangement at the table.

However, there is a beautiful exception: when a person receives Christ into his or her heart, He can transform the conflict into a calm demeanor and peaceful behavior. Such is the power of the love of God—to transform even a violent sinner into a serene saint.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart today and transform your conflicts.

Ron McClung works at his denomination’s world headquarters and lives in Fishers, Indiana, with his wife, Carol. They have two sons and nine grandchildren.