BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS
Last week I wrote about the fact that most people long for that illusive thing called peace. I said that peace is first and foremost a personal condition and that it will never envelop this world until it is first found in the heart of men.
Thinking a lot about that in the last few days, I have come to realize that it is possible to enjoy a “sort” of personal peace without affecting or influencing the world around us. I am admitting to you that I am ready to turn off the news and watch Andy Griffith instead. I don’t want to watch “out of control” people destroy our historical landmarks. I don’t want to hear how the pandemic has spiked in Arizona. I don’t want to be a captive audience for looters, burners and killers. I hurt for the people who have had to board up their businesses, and get out of the way of hoodlums.
When I was a child, I had a little figurine of the “Three Wise Monkeys.” They are a Japanese pictorial maxim. We always called the monkeys “See no Evil, Hear no Evil, Speak no Evil.” One monkey covers his eyes, one covers his ears, and the other covers his mouth.
Various meanings are given to these wise monkeys. See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil was meant as an example of being of good mind, speech and action. The phrase could also mean just remaining quiet, or denying reality. That’s exactly what I want to do some days. I want to shut my eyes, stop my ears, clinch my teeth and forget about what is going on outside my door. Then I am reminded of the quote I shared with you last week. “Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.” So, the so called peace I may experience by turning off the television may simply be a refusal to face reality.
The phrase “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil,” is often used to refer to those who deal with evil by turning a blind eye implying a lack of moral responsibility and refusal to acknowledge wrong doing. It seems to me that many of the leaders in our country fall into this category. They are turning a blind eye refusing to acknowledge the havoc that is being wreaked, afraid of reprisal, if they speak out.
I cannot turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to what is happening, nor can you. If I possess any real peace in my heart, that peace must become active in some way. I am not called to be a peacekeeper. I am called to be a peacemaker.
When Jesus was here on this earth, great multitudes followed Him. One day, seeing the multitude, he climbed up a mountain, sat down, and began to speak to the people. He shared with them eight conditions whereby they would be blessed. The seventh condition was, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.” Matthew 5:9.
“Blessed are the peacemakers…!” A peacemaker is a person who brings about peace, especially by reconciling adversaries.
2 Corinthians 5:18 tells us God “…has given us the ministry of reconciliation.” If we possess that wonderful peace of God in our heart, then we must ask the question, “How can I sow this peace into a world that is devoid of peace? I am asking myself that question today.
Here’s what I think. Serious divisive conflict is everywhere, within families, in the church, and in the world. As a lone individual, I probably wouldn’t make much of an impact in Minneapolis or Seattle, but in my home—in my neighborhood, I can be a Peacemaker. That’s a good place to begin my ministry of reconciliation.
It is said that “Time heals all things,” but that is not true. Often hurt is swept under the carpet and never dealt with, and bitterness, resentment, and anger fester. As a peacemaker, I can take the first step, face the conflict, and deal openly with the problem.
Of course, I have to forget about my own interests. I have to listen to, and consider my spouse, my child, my parent—the person who is hurting. Arguing never solves anything. Blame destroys any possibility of reconciliation, and peace flies out the window. I must attack the problem and not the person.
I council you today to let the “Peace of God” reign in your own heart. Keep your eyes and ears open to those about you. Deal honestly with problems that arise. Take every opportunity to speak the truth. There is a devastated world out there. Be aware of those who are afraid, angry and hurting, and speak to them a word of understanding—a word of peace.
This world needs an army of peacemakers, an army commanded by The Prince of Peace. He is our source.
Remember, Peacemakers are blessed.
“…They shall be called sons, (daughters, children) of God.”
REMEMBER, THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW!