Saturday, December 6, 2008

Courage & Peacemaking

Christianity isn't for wimps. Every time I make that statement in a group I see a frightening look flash on many people's faces. I don't back down from that statement because I have had to exercise more courage as a Christian than I have ever known previously.

Jesus said, "My peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you."

If you study the whole life of Christ, you might recall that for every moment of his days on earth, he had an intuition as to what his final moment on this earth would be: the Cross.

He knew that he would be going through an agony, a scourging, crowning and a crucifixion. Yet, with this thought hanging over his mind, he still found time to offer peace to the woman taken in adultery, to offer peace as shown in the story of the prodigal son, to offer peace to the good thief. Never did Christ lose his peace of mind despite the abuses he endured, the mistreatment he experienced or the desolate kind of death that was his.

Jesus Christ was the most courageous man I have ever read of or have known.

In conversation with the woman at the well, He violated protocol of Jews with Samaritans, much less a "woman of questionable reputation."

He has promised me HIS peace; so courage is a given. Peacemakers don’t sweep problems under the carpet – they confront them, even if the process is painful. Peacemakers actively seek to resolve conflict, not just keep it under control. Peacemakers are rare, because peacemaking takes courage backed up with hard work.

There is a big difference between peacekeepers and peacemakers. Peacekeepers can be intimidating. They say: "If you will not keep the peace, you will be punished". Peacekeepers carry weapons to back up their threats. In military conflicts, the weapons are:

  • guns
  • missiles
  • sanctions.
In family conflicts, the weapons are:
  • violence
  • emotional withdrawal
  • financial deprivation
  • separation/divorce.

In contrast, peacemakers pose no threat. They don’t issue ultimatums. They don’t give commands. Peacemakers first and foremost listen. Peacemakers take the time to hear a person’s grievance and understand things from their perspective. Peacemakers are patient – they understand when someone needs time to work through an issue. Peacemakers are in it for the long haul.

What do you say? How are you with this post's headline: Courage & Peacemaking?


Chatty Kelly said...

I think I am a wimp and a fighter. But I have authority issues, which we covered on another of your posts and I am working on it. :D

**Off topic** - How did you know from reading my post that my dad is OCD?? He is (undiagnosed). You are so intuitive! I am amazed by you, and am really learning so much from you. Thank you.

sailorcross said...

I agree with your title. It takes courage to "make the peace".

I'm trying to do this in small ways with my family. I sent my sister-in-law a birthday card (through the encouragement of another) even though I haven't heard from them since the spring.

A small thing really-but, it took courage on my part to step out and make the first move.

What they have done is on your list: Emotional withdrawal. Unfortunately, I have also dealt with the others on another level.

But, this--my own family withdrawing from me because of my beliefs--it hurts beyond belief. I'm dealing with it because I know that I'm headed in the right direction, and I've given it to God.


© 2008 Kay Martin

Thrive In Christ

Who I Am In Christ by Neil Anderson

For several months we will center on this book to pursue Thriving in our Christian journey.

Neil challenges us with: "Do you know who you are in God's eyes? We are no longer products of our past. We are primarily products of Christ's work on the cross. Who we are determines what we do.

You are not who you are in Christ because of the things you have done, you are in Christ because of what He has done. He died and rose again so that you and I could live in the FREEDOM of His love."

That's just the introduction. More to follow.