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couple disagreePursuing 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?

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. 

Why Text of PaperIt seems I am asking that simple little question more and more these days? In fact several of my friends and I have been bantering around the concept of understanding “WHY” before embarking on the “What, When, or How”.

Getting a firm grip on what you believe, and why you believe it, defines your core values and is the starting point for determining your actions.

I recently watched a great TED discussion on the topic. Simon Sinek does a great job of helping us to understand the importance of “Why”. He asks a great question. “Why do you get out of bed in the morning? Why would anyone else care?” Sinek explains that people are drawn to why others do what they do long before they care how they do it or even what they do.

What do you think about that? Do you invest your time, money and passion on connecting with companies, churches, and people who demonstrate they have the same core values as you do?

People are drawn to why you do things even more than what you do or how you do it. Are you able to explain your business, your faith, or your passion from the position of “WHY”?

What do you believe? Why do you do what you do?

As I ask this of myself I have found the following answer:

I do what I do because I believe in Heaven. I believe Jesus was the Son of God, came to this world as a man, lived a life without sin and yet died on a cross for my sins. I believe he rose from death, ascended to heaven and, because I have placed my faith in him, that I will join him there.

This simple, but steadfast belief, changes everything. I realize that my time on this earth is short compared to the eternity I will spend in Heaven. I believe that what I might give up to invest in others is very small in comparison to Jesus dying on a cross for me. I don’t mind, in fact I love, helping others discover their joy in learning of God’s love for them as well.

Because I understand my “WHY” I have restructured my schedule. I go to my kids’ games and events; I choose to spend time with my wife, my friends and my neighbors. I have come to value relationships more than material things. I invest my time to help others and experience real joy in doing so.

When I finally learned that it is not about “me” I learned that I was created, on purpose, for a purpose. This whole idea is best summed up for me in the term “discipleship”.
Each of us is on an individual journey with regard to our relationship with the Lord. Some have yet to begin, and many are far down the path. However each of us is where we are and not the same place as anyone else. God created each of us as an individual, and our relationship with Him is specific and personal. What discipleship is all about is “learning to meet someone where they are on their journey and to help them take their next step.” This takes some time and a relationship must be developed and trust earned.

Jesus taught us a great process in how he led his disciples. He taught them specific things based on their maturity and understanding. He taught them progressively-he built one concept on another as his disciples grew in their understanding. Jesus used specific methods of teaching, like using examples, content, prayer and learning situations that were tailored to each individual. What is really cool is that by learning what Jesus did we can do many of the same things. If you would like to learn more about the method that Jesus taught and led check out Disciple Building-A Biblical Framework. (Free at our WDA Store) It is a great process that you can use at work, in your family, at church–anywhere you are interacting with people.

Learning your “WHY” is vital. What is your motivation? Look in the mirror and take a good look. Ask the big question, “Why do I do what I do?”

Once you get to the understanding of “why” use it as a means of communicating your business and personal mission. Before telling people what you are doing, or even how you are doing it make sure they understand why you are. I have a feeling you will see a greater connection between you and those you are trying to influence.

I would love to hear your perspective of “WHY”. Drop me a note and share your thoughts in the comments below or other ideas or resources you have discovered!

 

David ParfittDavid Parfitt serves as the Chief Executive Officer of WDA, and is active in Life Coaching and the Restorative Ministry. He leads groups at A Better Way Ministries, teaches Sunday School, and is a Deacon, at New Hope Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Georgia.

David is also the creator of WDA’s Leadership Forum, is a mentor, and works with young men and their fathers at Right of Passage retreats. David has a heart, and a vision, to see men grow in their faith, to become biblical husbands and fathers, and to live life with a robust passion for sharing the love of Jesus Christ!

Growing up, we boys always carried stuff in our pockets.  Often it was an entire collection of items.  At any time, I might have a stick of gum, a folding knife, an arrowhead I found by the river, a couple of marbles, my lucky rabbit’s foot, a compass, something alive (or at least it was alive when I put it there) and a few coins.  I carried those things because I needed them, and my pockets were the most convenient place to store them.

As an adult, I still have things I need to access quickly and easily.  But the list has changed.  I don’t carry many items in my pockets these days, my smart phone is now my best storage unit.  But the thought of having something handy when you need it, is the concept behind WDA’s “Pocket Principles”.

The “Pocket Principles” collection contains hundreds of short essays that are geared to progressive stages of spiritual development and aimed at specific growth points in the Christian life.  Each essay targets a concept needed to help a Christian “take the next step” on the Christian journey.  And unlike the things in the pockets of my boyhood trousers, these items remain timeless.

Pocket Principles® are currently offered along with Guided Discussions. The content of the Pocket Principles® will reinforce truth learned in the group discussion. Each workbook is formatted for use in a small group, where pocket principles may read prior to each discussion.  Also, if a group member misses a meeting, he can read the corresponding Pocket PrincipleTM to review the information missed.

For more information visit the WDA Store.