Thursday, December 8, 2011

They shall be called...

Yesterday morning my bible study took me to Matthew 5:9, a familiar passage of the beatitudes. It says this:
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God. 
A few things jumped out at me.

I learned long ago there is a great difference between a peacemaker and a peacekeeper. Far too often a peacekeeper isn't really keeping the peace. So much of the time in difficult situations we mistakenly think that if we don't say anything or just let stuff lie, then all will eventually be well. And, there are times that this is appropriate, however, I wonder if more often than not, this thinking proves more toxic than beneficial. It seems to me that the fear driven, forced indifference rarely brings real peace. This type of passive, responsibility-less, void of genuine love for another usually just brings a nice big pot to stew in, that eventually boils and explodes at the first stir.

To the contrary, peace making some times looks like having a difficult conversation with humility and compassion. Peace making sometimes looks like directly ending an unhealthy relationship. Peace making sometimes means standing up and speaking the truth in love with grace. Peace making is not always the most easy way out. Peace making, I believe, is often vastly different than peace keeping.

The other thing that grabbed me was the part that says "they shall be called".  I recently was taught a new to me method of studying scripture by learning how to ask questions to hear God speak. So my question is; who is going to be doing the calling? Who is it that is going to look at a person's life and say "Whoa! This person is a peacemaker. They must belong to God!"

I think there are several answers. First, I think God sees when we are living the sometimes difficult life of peace making and says "Yes! You are mine and I will pour out my favor on you!"

I also think that our christian brothers and sisters see when we are choosing to walk in genuine love for others and recognize the truth as they see it. And then the Spirit moves in them to heap blessings on us in gifts of grace and compassion, mercy and encouragement.

But the option that I felt God really impress on me as an answer were the people that have yet to have an encounter and intimate relationship with Jesus. John 13:35 came to mind which says this: By this all people will know that you are mine, if you have love for one another all the time.

It's only in walking with Jesus that we can ever have productive, difficult conversations. It's only in being led by His Spirit that we can have healthy, growing relationships. It's only by His power we can be bold and be strong in a fruitfully lasting way.

Real love for one another.
Being a peacemaker, not a pseudo peacekeeper.
Keeping in step with Jesus.

This is a life of blessing.

This is how I want to be called.

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