Blessed are the peacemakers
Associate minister Greg Ball challenges us to consider if we are peacemakers when faced with people who think differently to us.
Are you a peacemaker? What do you do when you encounter someone who thinks differently to you? Or who does things differently to how you do things? How do you respond?
Are you someone who avoids such encounters? You like to keep a low profile and avoid conflict of any kind, and so have nothing to do with anyone who thinks, acts or speaks differently to you.
Perhaps you are someone who loves a good debate and never backs down from any type of argument. Are you someone who always has to have their own way? Someone who has no room for anyone else’s point of view? Do you get annoyed when other people do things differently to how you would do them, or voice opinions that are different to yours?
Talk about it
Maybe you’re someone who doesn’t express your opinions publicly, but in the relative safety of other like-minded people, you are very willing to talk about people who think differently to you.
Or maybe you just don’t care what other people think. And so responding to what other people say, do or think is of no consequence to you.
I know if I am honest with myself, there have been times where I have been guilty of all of these kinds of responses.
A different kind of response—be a peacemaker
Jesus, when he is teaching his disciples, encourages a different kind of response. He encourages his disciples to be peacemakers.
A peacemaker is not someone who just rolls over and agrees with anything anybody else says in order to avoid disagreement of any kind. Jesus is talking to his disciples in the context of the kingdom of heaven. A peacemaker, in the context of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5, is someone who has made their peace with God.
The message that Jesus brought to the world was one of repentance. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (Matthew 4:17) The world is at war with God on account of sin. The only way to have peace with God is to turn from worldly ways and trust in Jesus.
As Christians, we are people who are blessed by God because we are no longer at war with him. We have received forgiveness for our sins and the blessing of eternal life through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our blessing, as Christians is twofold. Not only have we been blessed with peace with God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but we also have the opportunity to pass on that message of truth to others so that they too may know the way to have peace with God.
It is not our job to win arguments with people who disagree with us. But equally so, it is not helpful for us to shy away from telling people what we know to be true.
Be a peacemaker—be someone who follows the Lord Jesus and who passes on the truth of the gospel to others so that they too may know the way of peace.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9