Have you ever considered yourself to be a peacemaker, or wondered how you could become a peacemaker?
Matthew 5:9 says this: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons, and of course, daughters, of God.
Author Ken Sande took this to heart. In fact, he not only wrote several books about how to be a peacemaker, he built a company so that he could share his Biblically based, practical suggestions with the world.
The Peacemaker’s Pledge that he developed is a commitment to Biblical conflict resolution. I’d like to share this Pledge with you today. I won’t mention the Bible passages his words are based on, but they will be on the website in the blog titled, “The Peacemaker’s Pledge”.
This is what the Pledge says:
As people reconciled to God by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we believe that we are called to respond to conflict in a way that is remarkably different from the way the world deals with conflict.
We also believe that conflict provides opportunities to glorify God, serve other people, and grow to be like Christ. Therefore, in response to God’s love and in reliance on His grace, we commit ourselves to responding to conflict according to the following principles.
#1 Glorify God
Instead of focussing on our own desires or dwelling on what others may do, we will rejoice in the Lord and bring Him praise by depending on His forgiveness, wisdom, power and love as we seek to faithfully obey His commands and maintain a loving, merciful, and forgiving attitude.
#2 Get the log out of your own eye
Instead of blaming others for a conflict or resisting correction, we will trust in God’s mercy and take responsibility for our own contribution to conflicts – confessing our sins to those we have wronged, asking God to help us change any attitudes and habits that lead to conflict, and seeking to repair any harm we have caused.
#3 Gently Restore
Instead of pretending that conflict doesn’t exist or talking about others behind their backs, we will overlook minor offences or we will talk personally and graciously with those whose offences seem too serious to overlook, seeking to restore them rather than condemn them. When a conflict with a Christian brother or sister cannot be resolved in private, we will ask others in the body of Christ to help us settle the matter in a Biblical manner.
#4 Go and be reconciled
Instead of accepting premature compromise or allowing relationships to wither, we will actively pursue genuine peace and reconciliation – forgiving others as God, for Christ’s sake, has forgiven us, and seeking just and mutually beneficial solutions to our differences.
By God’s grace, we will apply these principles as a matter of stewardship, realizing that conflict is an opportunity, not an accident.
We will remember that success in God’s eyes is not a matter of specific results, but of faithful, dependent obedience.
And we will pray that our service as peacemakers will bring praise to our Lord and lead others to know His infinite love.
It was Oliver Wendell Holmes who said, One’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.
This means that now that we have heard the Peacemaker’s Pledge, our minds will never be able to return to how we thought before we heard it. Our choice now is: do we try to prevent the words we heard from having an effect on us, or do we allow our stretched minds to think of ways we can apply what we heard?
Sometimes we’re in contact with people who have prevented words from having an effect on them. These are people who tell us about God’s word, but what they do shows us that they have never allowed it to stretch their thoughts into actions.
Imagine, as part of our personal stewardship, how our lives could change if we allow our minds to lay hold of these 19 words and expand them into actions. Here are the words: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called - you shall be called - the sons and daughters of God.
Amen my brothers and sisters. Amen