Jesus was known as the Prince of Peace and wherever He went you can see Jesus creating a new world with a sense of peace. He says, “Blessed are the peace makers, you will be called the Children of God.” So how do you and I become peace makers? Let’s look at three ways we can do this.
First, every day, wherever you and I go we create the spirit of our world, and you get to choose what spirit that’s going to be. It can be anger, criticism, bitterness, frustration, anger; you and I decide. It starts when you get out of bed. How do you speak to each other in your family? How do you treat one another? What spirit are you in when you’re driving to work? How do you treat the people you work with? You affect your world by the way you treat the person who waits on you at the mall or at a fast-food restaurant. Every day you and I decide: what’s the world that we’re going to experience and live in? We create that world.
Second, I believe you become a peace maker when you give up the right for retaliation, when you make the decision that you will not respond to anger with anger, insult for insult, hurt for hurt or pain for pain. As the disciples of Christ we think of Jesus going to the cross where the world did its worst and Jesus did not seek to get even, it was not about striking out pain for pain; we hear Jesus say Father forgive them for they know not what they do.
Every day somebody’s going to criticize you, get angry at you, be disrespectful to you, be harmful to you, it happens at home, it happens at work, it happens out in the community. Every day in so many ways over and over we have to decide: how do I respond? Because even in the little ways, I create an environment in the world, the world in which you and I live. Will it be one of anger and bitterness and resentment or will we seek an opportunity to create joy, put a smile on somebody’s face? Blessed are the peace makers for they are the Children of God.
Second, to be a peace maker you have to decide, it is a conscientious decision that you decide you will not let the pain of the past determine your future. There is an old saying that says Hurt people hurt peopleand it is so true. When we become hurt in the things of our past so often it dictates the way that we treat others. Hurt people hurt people, and it is so easy to live out of our past and that’s the way we begin to treat one another. And yet it’s when you and I make a decision to do it different.
Third, as the disciples of Jesus Christ you and I are called to be peace makers and you become peace makers when you start giving up the right for retaliation that it won’t be anger for anger and insult for insult, pain for pain. We strive for the greater good of all. You won’t let the pain of the past write the end of your story. Let’s make a commitment together, this week, to look for every opportunity to create joy and take time to put a smile on somebody’s face. It means living out of the commitment of John Wesley who said when everything that we say and do is motivated out of a love for God and a love for others that’s when YOU make a difference.
Blessed are the peace makers for you, you are the Children of God.