The Gospel of Peace
Ever experience conflict? No! (yeah, right…) Parents, Siblings, Teachers, Friends, Classmates, Coaches, other Authority Figures… we all experience conflict from time to time. But the question of the day is this: Are you a Peace-Maker or a Conflict-Maker?
Where would you be without peacemakers in your life? What would your group of friends look like if your peacemaking friend wasn’t there to help you figure out which movie to see when there’s disagreement in the group? What would you family look like if your peacemaker wasn’t there to help squash family arguments and conflict? Imagine the difference you could make by being a peacemaker!
In the Beatitudes Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). Want to be God’s son or daughter? Love peace. If you’re a Christian and you’re also a conflict-maker… there’s a problem with that! A BIG problem!
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
There are three things in here:
- Forgive as the Lord forgave you: Remember that Jesus Christ didn’t die on the cross to forgive you of your sin because you’re so awesome or worthy! Just the opposite is true – he died for you on the cross because you’re NOT worthy, but rather he died for you because of his great love.
- Put on Love: That same love that brought Jesus to die on the cross for you is the same love you’re told to put on each morning. What would it look like for you to read your Bible each morning before school and to pray, “Lord Jesus, clothe me in your love this morning.”
- Remember you were called to peace: Forgiving others and putting on God’s love would make a huge difference to whether or not you’re a peacemaker or a conflict-maker!
Ask yourself these three questions:
- Am I a forgiving person?
- Do I love people the way God wants me to?
- Am I an agent of peace or an agent of conflict?