This Sunday, at Hope Church, we are in our next-to-last week of our series on the Seven Deadly Sins. As we’ve looked at each deadly sin- we’ve examined one of the Beatitudes of Jesus in Matthew 5 that show us an attitude/lifestyle to follow to help us rise above the deadly sins. This past Sunday- we talked about wrath and becoming a peacemaker. Jesus says in Matthew 5:9,
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
Rather than rehash the sermon in this space, I want to look at some practical ways that we can become peacemakers- and encourages others to be peacemakers.
1. Being a peacemakers begins with our everyday life. We need to be peacemakers in the ways that we relate to our friends, our spouse, our children, and our co-workers. We need to avoid an “us vs. them” mentality that pulls people apart- but find ways that bring people together through reconciliation. We need to find solutions that honor and affirm each party as God’s sacred creation.
2. We need to be peacemakers in our digital life. I’m looking at you Facebook and Twitter! Too often, we can impulsively write a status update or tweet that is pointed towards someone without thinking of the consequences (or worse, thinking of the consequences and still doing it). Many times, we do this in a passive aggressive way- not naming who we are talking about, but writing it in such a way that our friends or those involved know who we are talking about. Jesus says in Matthew 5:22 that we will be subject to judgement for having anger in our heart towards another person. James writes that the tongue can be restlessly evil and full of poison. The words we say can kill- even those said on Facebook (BTW, putting J/K or a smiley emoticon does not make the hurtful comment ok!). As peacemakers, we need to be encouragers whose words give life rather than take life away.
3. We need to provide our children and emerging generations with a new narrative and role models on how to be peacemakers. We should obviously look at the life of Jesus in this mold- but also to Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.- who used non-violent resistance as a means to resist evil and oppression. We can teach our children to be peacemakers rather than to add to the violence.
Being a peacemaker should not be seen as an optional endeavor as Christians- Jesus says that peacemakers will be called “children of God.” Let us pray that our actions and our lives might lead to peace with God and with our neighbor.