Revisiting the past
A few years ago, WordBytes featured a series on the Beatitudes (Matt. 5: 1-12). One of our teachings in that series dealt specifically with “peacemakers”.
“Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.” Matt. 5:9 (NRS)
I returned to this teaching today as a result of several events that have occurred this week. The first was a Facebook post from a college classmate. Although I’m not a close follower of Facebook, when I received the following invitation to “check it out”, I was moved and challenged.
I am tired. There is too much hate and too many who want to keep hate going!!!! Breaking News: In these difficult times, we all need to show our love to one another. I am challenging at least 20 of my friends to comment, “Love ya”, and them put this on your status and see who actually says Love ya!
I’m not going to share the results but, in my mind, my classmate is a peacemaker. What role do we each play as peacemakers? How willing are we to callout bad behavior and redirect people to what Jesus taught? Did Jesus mean what He said? Absolutely! He wasn’t talking just to hear Himself!
Another story of peacemaking
This morning this news banner came across my phone: “Congress tries to break fever of incivility amid string of vulgar, toxic exchanges”.
They live a mile apart in Columbus, Ohio. And they shop in the same produce aisle at the same grocery store. US Reps Mike Carey a Republican and Joyce Beatty, a Democrat, often bump into each other at the airport and see each other all over the neighborhood. Over glasses of orange juice and ice water in May, they even talk about the importance of being seen together at work, talking, and planning. Carey and Beatty have formed a Congressional Civility Caucus, seeking to inspire a more civil discourse between the two parties.
These two individuals could be poster children for what peacemaking looks like. How do you think “the world” will view their actions? Do a Google search on “civility in Congress” and see the various articles written about this topic. There are as many against civility efforts as in favor of it. Sad so sad! How can there be peace if there are no peacemakers?
What does a peacemaker look like?
Peacemakers are intentional in creating opportunities that mirror God’s heart of peace in the world. They look for opportunities to both prevent potential conflicts and encourage peaceful relationships even if it means personal sacrifice and self-deference (1 Cor. 9:22).
They understand that peace is not the result of external factors or human effort but is the internal “heart work” of the Holy Spirit, who is daily conforming believers to the image of Christ, the Ultimate Peacemaker (Rom. 8:29). Peacemaking finds genesis in the heart of God.
The need for peacemaking
For wherever there is jealousy or selfish ambition, there will be disorder and every other kind of evil (James 3:16, TLB)
Wherever there is strife and envy, you can betcha that Satan is the puppeteer behind the screen. That strife can exist between strangers, friends, church members, or yes, even family. This week in an article entitled, “Why So Many Young People Are Cutting Off Their Parents”, Karl Pillemer, a professor at Cornell University, found that 27% of Americans over the age of 18 were estranged from a family member. Scary huh?
Children of God are Peacemakers.
The peace that Jesus speaks to in this Beatitude is not a “natural” habit or disposition of man. This peace is imparted to us during the process of salvation (2 Cor. 5:17). Practicing peacemaking is not easy in the natural or our flesh. Yet it is more than possible in the Spirit (Gal. 522).
What adjective do people use to describe us? Are we portrayed as bridge builders or wrecking balls? Do people see us as encouragers or dream crushers? As silly as this exercise may seem, it is important that the world sees us as God’s peacemakers.
 CBS News