Summary: There are days for all of us when we look around that all we can see is conflict. War, fighting, shootings ... unfortunately it is nothing new. We can trace it all the way back to the book of Genesis. Ever since Adam and Eve sinned, man has been at wa
“Give Peace a Chance!”
There are days for all of us when we look around that all we can see is conflict. War, fighting, shootings ... unfortunately it is nothing new. We can trace it all the way back to the book of Genesis. Ever since Adam and Eve sinned, man has been at war. Major conflict got started right there in the Garden of Eden in the first family as Cain became jealous and killed his brother Abel. It seems in fact that man has always been predisposed to conflict.
Lady Astor commented to Winston Churchill, “if you were my husband, I’d put poison in your coffee.” Churchill who had a great sense of humor, said “if you were my wife, I’d drink it!” Some of us have clashed with so many people that we don’t really know how to live at peaceably with others. In fact, I have known some people who over the years have never been happy unless they are fighting with someone. So how do we find real peace? How do we become peacemakers? A little girl was working diligently on her homework that her Father became curious and he asked her what she was doing. She looked up at her Dad, smiled and said I’m writing a report on how to brig peace to the entire world. Isn’t that a pretty tall order for such a little girl? She said Oh Daddy don’t worry, there are 3 of us working on it.
Peace is a hard thing to get hold of....we want peace in the church... the workplace ..we want peace everywhere, no war, no conflict. But the truth is in fact that we get so used to war that many people do not even realize that America is still at war. Now for over ten years. And every month we see more of our soldiers being killed.
It is in the midst of all of this conflict that Jesus speaks and He says, Blessed/Happy are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God. The Bible is a book of peace...over 800 times in the Bible we see the word peace. Now before we go much further we need to see what Biblical peace actually is. And I want to start by telling you what it isn’t.
1. Peace is not just the absence of activity. We say we need peace and quiet meaning we need to slow down but peace is not just the absence of activity.
2. Peace is not just the absence of hostility. It’s deeper than that.
3. Peace is not just getting away from it all. We sometimes think if we go on vacation and get away from it all that we will suddenly have peace. The Bible teaches that we can have peace right where we are.
4. Peace is not just the absence of something bad. It is also the presence of something that is good.
Now I have said that the Beatitudes are the attitude you ought to be in. Each one of them is a key in our Pursuit of Happyness. Can you imagine what it would be like if we lived in a world where everyone was at peace with one another? No conflict, no hostility, just peace? Would that be amazing or what? That is what Heaven will be like! But what about right now? Because Jesus is describing something that can happen in our lives right now. Not later.
So think with me this morning about 3 types of people in our world today and see if you can recognize 1 or 2 of them and then figure out where you fit in.
First there are Peace Breakers. Peace Breakers are exactly what it sounds like. They are people who go out of their way to cause trouble and division. They are just plain trouble-makers. They are confrontational. They walk around with a chip on their shoulder looking to pick a fight. They disagree just to disagree. Proverbs says this: “ a troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best or friends.” It also says, “God loved the pure hearted and well-spoken; good leaders also delight in their friendship.
Friends get along. Every church needs peace-makers. People who primary goal is unity. Paul says in Ephes. 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. What if every word that came out of our mouths was encouraging? What if the church was a place like that? Where never was heard a discouraging word? The sky would not be cloudy all day!
Before we start looking at others we need to first pay attention to our own words. We need to ask, are my words building others up or tearing them down? Because we are all capable of both. James says “out of the same mouth come blessings and cursing. My brothers, these things should not be this way.”