Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Matthew 5:9)
‘Peacemakers’ promote peace between people and God (by preaching the gospel), and between people and other people. Peacemakers are rightly called ‘sons (or daughters) of God’ because they reflect the character of their heavenly Father. What can we do in practice to be peacemakers?
Peacemakers don’t just agree with everyone; conflict is sometimes unavoidable. In this very brief article we may consider three helpful perspectives.
Paul writes that ‘while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son’ (Rom. 5:10). This is the essential starting point for all would-be peacemakers. By being mindful of the phenomenal price God paid to bring us peace with him, we will extinguish any selfish or stubborn attitudes that hinder the process of achieving peace with others.
Jesus tells us that “what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart” (Matt. 15:18). Before we attempt to reconcile with others, we need to assess our hearts. Is there any bitterness or stubbornness there? If so, it will be difficult to hide it in our speech. But if we prayerfully seek God’s transforming power through the Holy Spirit, then our hearts (and words) will be transformed; after all, ‘the fruit of the Spirit is… peace’ (Gal. 5:22).
‘Count others as more significant than yourself’ (Phil. 2:3); be ready to forgive and not to judge (Luke 6:37); be honest but gentle (Titus 3:2); and be quicker to listen than to speak (James 1:19). These are just a few of the many scriptures that guide us practically – but above all, remember that the other party is still ‘the brother (or sister) for whom Christ died’ (1 Cor. 8:11).
Sarah Seddon, The Church of God in Swindon