Blessed Are The Peace Makers
In the beatitudes Christ said blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God. Now since being in the kingdom of God for all time as children of God is the aim of the Christian, being peace-makers it seems is meant to be one of our most useful attributes.
Would you be called a peace-maker by your neighbour? Let's use neighbour in the Christian sense of "all those we come into contact with".
Are ruffles smoothed out because of your actions, or are hackles raised? Is your conversation aimed at stirring up controversy, or at binding together in love on common ground? Are you able to listen to those whose beliefs differ from your own without rancour and like the Bereans, check to see if it is so or not with a calm and open mind. Whether it's people outside the church or inside, member or minister. Are we peacemakers?
What is a peacemaker, anyway?
In the American West the Colt 45 was called the peace-maker! There were a number of reasons for this and we can look at a few of these today, with reference to our own influence on the people around us!
(1) The Colt 45 was called a peace-maker because after it had finished talking things were usually calmer, quieter, and more peaceful! People who were earlier making a lot of trouble were still and at peace with the world!
Now we are not to bring peace in the same way as the Colt 45, but after WE have finished talking, are people calmer, quieter and more peaceful, or are they more likely to be upset, more noisome and more agitated?
Let's see what god says about this in just a few verses of Proverbs.
A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly: but the mouths of fools pours out foolishness. The eyes of the LORD [are] in every place, beholding the evil and the good. A wholesome tongue is a tree of life:
And God wants our tongues to be that tree of life. To use our knowledge wisely. Emphasising the common ground, our commonly held beliefs, and the centrality of Christ in our lives; accentuating the positive things of being a Christian.
(2) The Colt 45 was called a peace-maker because very often just the presence of a Sheriff or Marshal carrying one caused attitudes to change and many to decide that good behaviour was the order of the day!
Are you the sort of person whom people know as a Christian with Godly standards, and who therefor change their speech and actions for the better when you are around. We know that bad company can spoil good habits, but also good company (your company), can change the attitudes and lift the spirits of those who are thereby influenced.
Christ had a lot to say on how we could influence others for good. Let's see one example in Matthew 5:13.
You are the salt of the earth: etc..
Salt is of value when it is mixed with food. It makes the taste better. Are you like that? When you mix with others do they react to that and become better? Act better?
There are two kinds of energy, potential and kinetic. When salt is in a box on the shelf it has potential, but it has to actually be mixed with food to do good. It's the same with us. We must set the example of good peaceable conduct, for others to see and follow!
(3) The cowboy didn't necessarily carry a bag of tools around with him as he rode the range, so if a fence wire was broken, often he would use the butt of his Colt 45 as hammer to make the repair.
Are you a repairer of broken down fences? Are you open to others and their trials? Wanting to turn any current hurts into a new loving relationship? It can be a soul wearying task I know. Like the cowboy out in all weathers riding the fences, being willing to go the extra mile to help others in their relationships, as well as maintaining your own is not easy. In fact it can seem to be a thankless as well as soul wearying task.
So why do it? Because God loved us first and sent his only beloved son to die so that we can be reconciled to him. We are to have that same love which will make us want to be a reconciling influence in the world also.
Are you friendly? This works two ways. Do you initiate the hand of friendship to others? When someone extends a hand to, do you welcome them like Christ did the little children, or do you send them packing like the disciples wanted to do?
Do you suffer the children of Christ, or are they suffering and having to make allowances for you?
How did John put it in his gospel, as he recorded Christ's words for us in John 15:12-14.
John 15:12 - 14.
This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you.
Your life is but time and time spent building good and Godly relationships is time spent in God's work. It's showing people the spirit and grace of God.
(4) The Colt 45 was made in "Long Barrelled" and "Short Barrelled" versions, "Snub-nosed" and "Buntline specials".
We come in all shapes and sizes also. With our tongues we have the power to build up or tear down, to undermine or shore up, to make war or to bring peace. And of those possibilities God wants us to build up; to shore up; and to bring peace! We are to speak those words which will build up the body of Christ, the church. Words which will encourage others and shore up their lives as God's servants in all things. Words which will smooth the way of peace in our relationships.
To emphasise the common ground; the bedrock of Christ. To help all people we come into contact with to be reconciled to each other and to God, where the opportunity presents itself. That's what Christians will be doing. They do it because it's what God wants, and they love him, and naturally want to do what pleases him. They do it because they are people of the kingdom. They do it because they are Peace-Makers.
That's you and me with Christ in us!