Pursuing Peace is hard. Whether you are listening to the news or looking at your facebook feed, there are plenty of people including Christians who are faced with the choice of joining a heated discussion or logging out!
There are many who will go to Chick-fil-a this August 1 to show their support. There are also lots of people on the other side of the issue who will take their stand as well. My question is how can the Christians who stand on either side of this issue pursue peace when they disagree?
“Blessed are the Peacemakers.” (Matthew 5:1) Peace isn’t some passive experience that I gain by letting go. Instead peacemaking is active.* I have to work at making peace.
I believe that all Christians need to learn how to pursue peace and actively make peace.
Here are 5 things to remember:
1. Every Christian needs to remember they are poor in spirit. I’ve got to remember that log in my eye before I point out the speck.
2. I need God’s Spirit, His Word the Bible, and people to reveal my heart. True conviction and spiritual change don’t happen alone.
3. I am not the Holy Spirit: I don’t have to convince you! That is God’s work! The point is not winning an argument but seeking to know God and what He says.
4. I need to remember that there is a bunch of pain under the surface! If there is heat then usually there is something else needing to be addressed! Who among us hasn’t felt hurt and pain due to sinful actions, thoughts and words of others? Many times we argue most vehemently because of what is under the surface.
5. Pursuing peace and making peace doesn’t mean we agree. I might never agree with you but that doesn’t mean we have no common ground.
So Christian, before you take to the streets to defend your position at your local Chick-fil-a or call your local talk show, how about opening your Bible and listen to Jesus’ sermon on the mount in Matthew 5-7?
You are not the first Christian to disagree about the Bible. I think that many of us need to stay in the tension and humbly open God’s word together to find His answers!
There is an alternative to this hard work of peacemaking: you could choose to separate and isolate, speak harsh words, attack anyone who disagrees, and form a new group that agrees with you. Jesus warned us against this as well! (Read John 17)
*My thoughts have been greatly influenced by my Pastor and Fellow Brother in Christ, Chris Robins. Listen to his sermon on peacemaking at St Paul’s Presbyterian Church Website.