“Humble restraint tempers anger with patient love and seeks to see another’s hurt with empathetic eyes.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 5, 2022
You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family. Matthew 5:9, MSG
The beatitude before being a peacemaker is being pure of heart…purity is a prerequisite for a peacemaker. A pure heart sees God, and thus has an objective view of what to do. Purity flushes out bias with the goal to bring out the best version of all parties. No predetermined decisions, but being a discerning listener to define the problem, before prescribing solutions. Peacemakers make people better as they learn the skills of cooperation and collaboration…recognizing everyone has a vital role, in serving the Kingdom of God. The blessings of being a peacemaker are the joy of making Jesus, the Prince of Peace, the focal point, inspiring oneness…and being a witness of wise counsel that’s pure and peaceable to an outside world confused and conflicted.
You may be in a no-win situation that feels like a stalemate…neither party is willing to change. One person is convinced her way is the best and only way, and another is highly confident he is in the right. Two unyielding views require a third party…a peacemaker to de-escalate the situation, pause, and search for an option that begins to bring healing and connection. Wisdom sets expected behaviors like humility, respect, and calm as different versions of the truth are processed. And patience is preeminent, as the peacemaker uses clarifying questions to seek to understand. Gifted peacemakers create a safe environment so all can share without fear or shame.
“If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right” (Matthew 5:23-24).
In addition to the vital role of a third-party peacemaker…you are called to be a first-party peacemaker. And, a blessing awaits you…as Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” You are identified as a child of God, by being a peacemaker for God. A posture of peacemaking makes those around you settled, peaceful…trusting you will do what’s right. Henri Nouwen describes how peacemaking contributes to relational health and true worship, “I know that I must let go of all divisive emotions and thoughts so that I can truly experience peace with all of God’s people. This means an unrestrained willingness to forgive and let go of old fears, bitterness, resentment, anger, and lust, and thus find reconciliation. In this way, I can be a real peacemaker. My inner peace can be a source of peace for all I meet. I can then offer gifts on the altar of God as a testimony to this peace with my brothers and sisters.” Peacemakers freely forgive others.
Is your life marked by ongoing peace or turmoil? If you are in relational turmoil there is a better way. The better way takes focused time, hard work, and buckets of humility, yet the payoff is relational riches…with God and people. Perhaps you place on the altar of God the need to be right and trust the Lord will provide in His timing the right results. Humble restraint tempers anger with patient love and seeks to see another’s hurt with empathetic eyes. Instead of racing to a worse-case result, wait on the Lord’s grace and mercy to work out His will. Your inner peace is a generous gift of calm to another who may be caught in a web of deceit and lies. Your love over time will help untangle untruths and free one to rest in gratitude and love. Give the gift of peace!
“Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way, prosperity will come to you” (Job 22:21).
Heavenly Father, lead me by your love to bring peace to chaotic circumstances, through Christ’s love, and in Jesus’ name, amen.
What relationship requires me to humble myself and invite a third-party to help bring clarity to a confusing situation?
We The Kingdom: Peace
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