Romans 14:19 So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.
Hebrews 12:14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.
Matthew 5:9 God blesses those who work for peace for they will be called the children of God.
James 3:18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.
The first thing I saw on social media at 4:00 am this morning was feedback on the vice presidential debate. I won’t try to stir anyone up with my opinion here because I do like to keep the peace. A peacekeeper can be a good thing. A peacekeeper is one that avoids conflict by avoiding touchy subjects and arguments. It is a natural tendency for most people to try to avoid conflict, avoid arguments, and sweep the conflict under a big rug. Out of sight, out of mind so to speak. Yea, it’s safe to say I like to keep the peace, but do you want to know what is much better than a peacekeeper? It is a peacemaker. A peacemaker is one that actively gets involved to resolve conflict and reconcile relationships.
Most of my life, I’ve been a peacekeeper, but the older I get, the more I have developed into a peacemaker. I no longer want to just avoid conflict. I want to settle the disputes, work out the differences, and solve the problems. I no longer want to sit on the sidelines when two people I love are hurting. Nope, not this girl. Are you mad at so and so? Does so in so even know you’re mad? Well, come on girl. We are going to work this out. That’s right, we are going to pull up chairs, grab some coffee, and have a pow wow.
The truth is that most conflicts can be worked out if both people involved in the conflict would simply talk to one another, share their hearts, and maybe apologize for goodness sake. How many relationships have gone by the wayside merely because someone failed to talk about the problem? I’m betting the number is vast.
James tells us that those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. What exactly does this mean? Well, we all know the old saying, “you reap what you sow.” When you plant a seed, fertilize it, and water it, you will always get much more than you planted. One tiny cucumber seed will produce a multitude of cucumbers. Our spring garden generally produces enough to feed our whole community. Yet when we plant cucumber seeds, we know we are going to produce cucumbers. We don’t expect to grow a tomato plant from a cucumber seed. That wouldn’t happen. You reap what you sow, and if you plant cucumber seeds, you are going to get a cucumber or two or maybe even a hundred. Therefore. If you are planting seeds of conflict, guess what you are going to harvest? Yep. You got it. You will reap lots of conflict. You will likely end up getting a whole lot more than you planted, perhaps enough conflict to affect the whole family and maybe even the whole community.
However, if you plant seeds of peace, your harvest will be ripe with goodness, kindness, and peace. Oh, but how in the world do we plant seeds of peace? Bear with me. It’s going to take a little effort, but it is very doable. First, you must identify the conflict. Just look around and you can spot a conflict. That’s easy enough. Then, and this is the most important step: pray. Talk to God before you even get involved in this gardening adventure. Tell God that you see this conflict, and ask Him for the wisdom and words needed to plant the seeds of peace in this situation. If you caused the conflict or are personally involved, now might be a good time to go to the other person and apologize, share your heart, and lovingly try to work it out. If you aren’t part of the situation, now is the time to bring the ones in conflict together and lovingly tell them that you care about them and their relationship, and ask them to talk it out. A lot of conflict could be resolved if we would just learn to talk it out. You may not be able to resolve the conflict every time, but if you try to plant these seeds of peace by showing the love of Christ, peace will eventually be harvested.
God will bless your efforts. He loves peacemakers so much so that Jesus calls the peacemakers the children of God. Wait, what? The peacemakers are called the children of God? But aren’t all believers called children of God? Yes, we are so I suppose that means as chikdren of God we are all charged with the duty of being peacemakers. As Christians, we are all called to make peace. Get out there today and make some peace. Don’t be satisfied with merely keeping the peace. Be a peacemaker!