“God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.”Matthew 5:9 NLT
Do you know anyone who strives to create dissention? It seems to those on the outside that their main objective in life is to cause others grief. We have a name for these folks on the playground but it does carry over into the workplace, famalies and the church : Bullies. They most likely will not see themselves that way but their actions reflect that of someone who push people about to achieve their obectives. This personality type likes to get their way no matter what, it very well could be the root cause of many a church split. One person or two with opposing views on an issue not willing to work towards peace in the name of not feeling weak.
What I love about this beatitude is it doesn’t say achieving peace, it say working for peace. It has more to do with understanding what peace in relative to our relationship with God, then peace that ensures everyone is happy with the situation. Peace to make everyone happy is unachievable. One lean in a direction for one group will be unfavourable for another. This type of peace making leads to bitterness from sides who feel another is getting a better deal.
Peace described here, I believe, comes from the understanding of the commandment to love one another. Taking the time to connect with the body of believers and not just a select few can be a great way to show this love. When we get bonded to a rare few believers we start thinking the same line and when the party line gets challenged we jump to the cause, but we need to be towing Jesus line of loving one another, that is the main objective. Investing in your fellow believers will create a peace that will be a desire of those outside the church. It will show them that the church is a true family whose members love one another and have more then enough love for new brothers and sisters.
Are you working for peace or are your actions agressive? If you don’t get what you want how do you responded? If your church makes changes how do you respond? Are you connected with just a few brothers and sisters or many? Work for peace, strive to love one another.
Jesus, I pray that we love one another more. To be a church who loves our neighbors as ourselves, to show them peace in a world that is full of discention. We need to embrace those who darken the doors of our buildings, or talk to us at work as loved by God. If they are all loved by God then we as believers need to love them too. To work towards peace I pray you will help us drop our preconviced notions and see them as you see them, people in need of a saviour. Amen