Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. (Luke 12:51)

PEACEMONGERING IS THE PRACTICE of keeping peace at all costs, never upsetting or offending, even to the sacrifice of honor.

Of course it is natural and biblical to seek peace. “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Rom. 12:18). But there is a limit to it. Healthy people desire peace—but not peace at all costs. As Teddy Roosevelt once declared, “There is no unrighteous peace.”

Sometimes wrongdoing continues unopposed because good people don’t want to cause trouble or stir up a hornet’s nest. Under the guise of keeping peace, we tolerate evil and follow the appeasement path. Confrontation brings conflict and most of us would rather avoid that at all costs. But there is no unrighteous peace.

Not everyone will understand when you take a stand for what is right and true. Hold to your biblical convictions anyway, but maintain a sweet spirit. Some folks, agitating in a warring holiness, say they are being persecuted for righteousness. In reality, they are just being persecuted for being obnoxious.

Stand firm when the day of evil comes, but don’t go looking for a fight. The conflict will find you. When facing such conflict, ask these two questions: What is right and true? How can I do right as graciously as possible?

Do what’s right, even if they want to fight.

Mark O. Wilson is senior pastor of Hayward Wesleyan Church in Wisconsin’s Northwoods, and author of Filled Up, Poured Out and Purple Fish (WPH).