“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” – Matthew 5:9
Peace and reconciliation are almost two sides of the same coin. For the goal of peace is to have reconciliation amongst the two parties. This is ultimately God’s heart to broken and sinful men – that they would be reconciled back to Him. If therefore God has reconciled us and made peace by the blood of His Cross, how are we not to show peace and extend reconciliation to our enemies?
Just the other night, my wife and I were eating dinner with my brother, his wife and my sister. My sister-in-law, Allison, is a nurse at a clinic here in town. She began telling us that there is a colleague that has been quite rude at her lately. Allison said she was walking by this colleague one morning as she was recanting to another co-worker that her foot was in a lot of pain. Allison, felt the draw to continue to walk but instead stopped and said, “I can help you with that problem.” For the last week, Allison has been washing and bandaging this woman’s feet. I screamed, “That’s the most Biblical thing I’ve ever heard! You are literally washing an enemies feet such as Jesus instructed us to.” This is a physical model of how we should treat our enemies. We are often too busy griping, complaining and gossiping about other people’s sin rather than serving, loving and praying for them.
This is one of those verses I’d love to have hanging in every church. I have been in so many church settings that seem to have lost this concept of peacemaking. It seems that every hill is a hill to die on, including the hill of carpet color selecting. We have seemed to loose our focus as a church which inevitably results in the lack of peace even amongst church members. We have let second, third and fourth tier issues cloud our judgment on the first tier issue: making disciples of all nations. How does this happen? Extending the Gospel of peace and reconciliation towards those who are hostile to it.
Last year my grandparents came into town for a small visit with the family. It was a real special time because we arranged a time for both my grandparents to tell their life story in front of the entire family. After they finished retelling their stories, we had the opportunity to ask them questions. Both of my grandparents were missionaries to the Philippines for over twenty-five years so they had their share of stories. After my grandfather was finished, I asked him one simple question, “If you could only say one thing, what would be your advice for Christian living and marriage?” His response was baffling.
“Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,” spoke my wise grandfather, “even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32, KJV). He didn’t expand or elaborate; I guess there wasn’t a need to. How amazing would it be for every Christian to memorize this verse and make it their aim to live like this! Somehow we have replaced the Bibles instruction to be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving with domineering, controlling and slanderous behavior towards our fellow brothers and sisters. We must return back to this; for to show mercy is to receive mercy and to show peace is to receive peace. Be kind and tender hearted, forgiving as God has forgiven you, fellow church member.Tweet