“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9 ESV)
For many of us, it’s easier to assign the worst intention to a person’s actions or behaviors rather than giving one the benefit of the doubt. In those moments when offense has been taken (whether intentionally or accidentally), we prepare to go to war. We want to defend our value, or our collective values, our loved ones or our position in life. Whatever it is, we make sure to defend it so we might win the battle and survive another day. However, this mindset leads to battles rather than collaboration. It leads to narrowing our focus rather than opening up possibilities. It leads to win-lose situations rather than win-win solutions. When we see the other person as our enemy, we miss out on the opportunity to see God working to create something bigger, better and more holistically pleasing to Him than we could ever imagine.
Christ calls us to be peacemakers because we are not naturally at peace with the world. We are not at peace with nature or our communities, or with our families or even at times, within ourselves. We are warring people. Worst of all, we were at war with God. Instead of treating God as the creator of the universe and the King of everything (including our own lives), we treat Him as some nuance in our lives bogging us down as we tried to chart our own destiny. We turned our back on the king, ignored the creator of everything and told him, get out of our lives because we are good enough to handle it ourselves.
And yet towards this ignorant, rude, thoughtless, warring people, God looked at us and said, even though they are my enemies, I will save them from death and destruction. He sent his own son to save us and instead of submitting to him as king, we killed him. However, despite us, Jesus submitted his life to the cross and went to it willingly, taking on our rudeness, our brokenness, our rebellious nature to the cross with him so that he might give to us his perfect nature and righteousness before God.
God took us, sinners, rebels, unrighteous, warring sons of darkness and turned us into saints, obedient, righteous, peacemaking sons of God! We have been transformed into new people because of what Jesus did for us on the cross while we were still His enemies.
Having that transformation, that significant of an event happen to us, we are to live out of that truth, as sons and daughters of God. We look at those in our lives who are warring against us with compassion and love and act as peacemakers towards them. We are to invite even these people to a gospel conversation so we might see peace brought between God and them as we have a gospel conversation communicating the work Jesus did on the cross for you and me and them!
We are peacemakers because we are children of God who made peace with us!
Parkland Community Church:
We Exist to Develop People Who Love Jesus and Serve Others.
William ConLead Pastor
William has been the Lead Pastor of
Parkland Community Church since Nov. 2018