If you’ve been following the blog the past few days, you know I’ve been writing about living at peace with others. If you don’t mind, I’d like to revisit a couple of verses that remind us that maintaining peace in our relationships really matters.
In Matthew 5:9, Jesus, said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
James 3:18 says, “Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”
Girls, I hope you are hearing me when I say that we need to do everything possible to get along with the people around us. Instead of planting the seeds of conflict, arguing, and drama, we are to plant peace. And what will be the harvest? James promises that peacemakers will reap a harvest of righteousness. That’s a crop I’d like to have in abundance! How about you?
I’ve already written about family and friendships, because those are two potential landmines in the quest for peace. There’s one more area where I think many of us could use some work as we strive to be peacemakers (myself included), and that’s our relationships at church.
It’s an ugly fact that churches can be a breeding ground for conflict. Unfortunately, fights among church members can get notoriously nasty. We frequently receive comments on this blog from readers like you telling us about fighting and conflict in your youth groups or among your friends from church.
Part of that is because churches are full of imperfect people. Being a Christian doesn’t mean we are immune from making the kind of mistakes in our relationships that lead to conflict. Even so, I think it is critical that we work to be peacemakers in our churches.
How? Good question. Two passages come to mind as the perfect answer.
Philippians 2:14–15 says, “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.”
Ephesians 4:29 says, “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.”
Mesh these passages together, and we get this blueprint for how we should live:
- Don’t grumble (i.e. complain).
- Don’t argue.
- Don’t say anything that could be harmful to others.
- If it doesn’t build someone up, don’t say it.
The Bible offers rich promises to those who follow this blueprint including:
- Becoming blameless and pure.
- Shining like bright lights in a dark world.
- Meeting the needs of others.
Think about the way that you talk at church? Do you have a tendency to complain that the music wasn’t quite right or the sermon didn’t really speak to you? Do you grumble that your youth group is full of cliques or say things about other girls in the group that tear them down instead of building them up? Do you have a tendency to argue with your youth pastor or pastor when they teach a hard truth that isn’t easy to digest or live out?
It is so important that we all work to be peacemakers in our church because the world is watching. If we are at odds with each other within the church walls, how can we shine like stars in the sky? If we grumble and complain about our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, how can we meet the needs of those who desperately need to know Christ’s love?
These are tough questions. I hope you will chew on them for a bit and let God speak to you about how you can be a better peacemaker at your church. When He’s done with His work in your heart, we’d love to hear what you can do to sow in peace at your church.