Summary: This sermon looks at the seventh "Be" attitude. Peacemakers: A. Pay attention to what they SAY. B. Attack the PROBLEM not the person. C. COOPERATE as much as possible. D. Emphasize RELATIONSHIPS above resolution.
Peacemaking – The Seventh Step To Happiness
Over the past few weeks we have been looking at the “be” attitudes. Each beatitude begins with the word “blessed”. “Blessed” can also be translated “happy”. So as we have been going through the beatitudes we have been finding steps to happiness. Today we are going to look at verse nine – the seventh beatitude. Please follow along with me as I read.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9 (NKJV)
A three year old boy had a friend over to his house to play – but it turned out to be a tough day. The little boy was arguing about the toys and was grumpy. He just plain wasn’t nice. When the mother came in to offer them some snacks she said to her son, “You know you should really be nicer to your friend. He came over to play with you – but you’re not being very nice to him. You should share your toys better.” The little boy replied, “Well Mom – sometimes I’m mean – sometimes I’m not. People are like that you know.” Out of the mouth of babes – wisdom comes.
Did you know there are three types of people in this world? There are:
Peace–Breakers, there are Peace–Fakers and there are Peace–Makers.
We are going to spend a few minutes today looking at peace breakers and peace fakers, then we are going to talk about what it means to be a peace maker. Let’s look first at:
Peace–breakers are people who go out of their way to cause trouble and division. They are just plain trouble makers. They are deliberately confrontational. They walk around with a chip on their shoulder looking to pick a fight. They will fight about anything and everything - even things that don’t really matter. They disagree – just to disagree. Look at what Proverbs says about troublemakers:
“Troublemakers start fights; gossips break up friendships.” Proverbs 16:28 (MSG)
God doesn’t take to kindly to troublemakers. He desires peace makers – not peace breakers. Look at the people God says He loves:
“God loves the pure-hearted and well-spoken; good leaders also delight in their friendship.” Proverbs 22:11 (MSG)
Go ahead and circle the word “friendship”. Friendship is characterized by learning to get along with people. In the church we should be friends because we are family. God is our Father. Christ is our Savior. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. We need peace makers in the church. We need people whose goal is unity – who strive for unity. Look at how God tells to deal with trouble makers:
“Kick out the troublemakers and things will quiet down; you need a break from bickering and griping!” Proverbs 22:10 (MSG)
Now before we take this verse and go on a “witch hunt” to get rid of all the troublemakers – let us remember that all of us can have bad days. Just like the little boy in story – sometimes we’re mean. We need to examine our own hearts and see if we are peace makers rather than peace breakers.
Folks let me say this – Proverbs 22:10 bears this out – the easiest way to be a peace breaker is with the use of your tongue! Gossip, slander, being a busy-body, being judgmental these things don’t belong in the church. We need to kick those things out! We are here to build each other up – not to tear each other down. We are here to create unity not division. We need to be peace–makers not peace–breakers.
Before we start looking at others we need to listen to what we are saying ourselves. We need to hear the words that come out of our own mouths. We need to ask, “Are my words building up – or are they tearing down?” All of us are capable of doing both. We can either build up – or we can tear down. We can either bless or we can curse. Look at what James says:
“Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things should not be this way.” James 3:10 (HCSB)
Let us be peace makers with our actions and also with our words.
The second group that we are going to look at is:
What do I mean by ‘peace-fakers’? Peace-fakers will go to any lengths to avoid any kind of conflict, confrontation or argument. In doing so they settle for a counterfeit peace that is based on avoiding the real issues. They avoid talking about things because it may upset the other person. Or they give up – give in – even when the issue is vital.
Some people will try to ride both sides of the fence just to avoid conflict. They will agree with everyone – no matter what the issue is. They will tell people that they agree with them and then turn around and tell that next guy they agree with them too – even though the issues are in direct opposition to one another. They are faking peace – because peace is not appeasement. Let me give you an example: