Give Peace a chance DAY 24
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God
We have dear friends who have four children and the mother has now decided to start charging for her services as referee. She is constantly breaking up fights, calming emotions and reconciling siblings. Believe me, she is making a lot of money in this lockdown! I think many parents can relate as all of us have had to play the role of peacemaker more than ever before as we deal with sibling rivalry during our forced quarantine.
Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God
Many years ago I read a book by Ken Sande, Peacemakers, that challenged my thinking regarding this amazing verse in Matthew. I believe one of my personal callings in life is to be a peacemaker and that is why today’s verse is very dear to me. I have had to step into many friendships, church and business environments, marriages and other conflict-loaded situations where I had to play the role of mediator and peacemaker.
Sande explains ‘A peacemaker is someone with the ability to breathe grace into a situation. To do this they continually rely on the goodness and power of Jesus Christ revealed in the gospel. Peacemaking pleases and honours God’. Through the years I’ve learned that the power to live out these principles comes from God through the gospel. Only when we are amazed by grace will we understand that we can pursue peace in any situation because God reconciled us to Himself through Christ.
We are called blessed when we can step into any situation and see peace resolve the deepest hurt and the greatest offense. When peace and unity characterise your relationships with other people it shows that God is present in your life. The opposite is also true: when your life is filled with unresolved conflict, you will have little success in sharing the Good News about Jesus Christ.
The Bible teaches us that we should see conflict neither as an inconvenience nor as an occasion for selfish gain, but rather as an opportunity to demonstrate the presence and power of God. The Gospel, the Good News of how God reconciled us to Himself and brought peace between us and Him, gives us all the tools to resolve conflict and bring about lasting peace.
We find three types of people. Peacebreakers, Peacefakers and Peacemakers.
· Peacebreakers are those individuals who enter a conflict not primarily to resolve it, but to be right. This might be fuelled by deep convictions or selfish pride that doesn’t want to see them lose. They can sometimes be ‘stirrers’ always looking to prove a point.
· Others are Peacefakers, avoiding conflict at all cost and faking the peace. They can hold grudges for years and suddenly one day just lose it, to the surprise of those affected by the outbursts.
None of these two options are Godly. I have been on both sides of this slippery slope and it only damages relationships.
· Peacemakers on the other hand, are those who pursue truth and restored relationships at the same time. They are men and women, in the words of Sande who: ‘…glorify God, get the log out of their own eye first, go and show their brother or sister their fault and reconcile with them.’
It is not easy to be a peacemaker, but the world (and our families) are in dire need of them. The promise that we will bear the highest title on earth, ‘Children of God’, is enough reward for me to pursue this. May we find grace in this lockdown to echo the words of the angels when the Saviour was born "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those on whom his favour rests." Luke 2:14
Stay safe and stand strong.