Undoubtedly, you will encounter occasional strife with others. From time to time, we all slip into disagreements and sometimes even arguments. These things happen, and they can be a big problem. Yet bigger problems come when we lash back or try to defend ourselves and blame someone else. Before you know it, those involved don’t even want to talk to each other anymore.
In Matthew 5:9, Christ says, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Blessed are those who cool off the situation rather than heat it up. Do you consider yourself a peacemaker? Do you think before you speak? Do you extinguish the fire of adversity or do you kindle it with your own vanity? We won’t always get along perfectly with everyone, but we have the responsibility of being a peacemaker (Romans 12:18). Learning to become a peacemaker today will help us aid Christ in establishing peace in the World Tomorrow and ultimately throughout the universe.
Peace is the third fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5, after love and joy. Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in his article “This is the Life! Real Abundant Living,” “Love will mean that your face is beaming. It’s going to mean that you are really giving out. It’s going to mean that you are radiant and happy. Love results in joy, the second product of the Spirit of God. The third is ’peace.’ Instead of going around quarreling, resentful, bitter, unhappy and arguing—that’s not peace, that’s a kind of war—you’ll be at peace in your mind and with your neighbor, and with your God!” (Good News, August 1982).
How can we have this peace with our neighbor and God? How can we become better peacemakers?
Christ gives us several commands that teach us how to become an effective peacemaker.
Love Your Enemies
First, we are commanded to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44-45). This is a prerequisite in becoming a son of God (verse 2). We are commanded not only to love them but also to pray for them. Our human nature would rather ignore our enemies and seek revenge. God tells us in Romans 12:17-20, “Beloved never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God … if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.” We won’t solve our problems and we won’t become a peacemaker by retaliation and seeking revenge. Love your enemy, and let God handle any wrongs done to you.
The second command to enhance our role as a peacemaker is to refrain from judging others. Christ shows us in the Sermon on the Mount that it is not our responsibility to judge others. Only God knows every situation and only He has all of the facts. We are cautioned not to look at the speck in our brother’s eye without taking notice of the beam in our own eye (Matthew 7:1-3). Perhaps the greatest way our judgmental attitude creeps in is through gossip. Gossip causes division and tension rather than peace and unity. If we keep our mouth shut and look to God to take care of the situation, He will (Proverbs 16:7).
The Golden Rule
A final command Christ gives that will make us a better peacemaker is known today as the golden rule. “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you” (Matthew 7:12; New Living Translation). Peace is a two-way street. If we want people to be kind and respectful to us, we must respect and be kind to them. If we want people to forgive us and treat us fairly when we make mistakes, we must do likewise. Look at the positive side of things and always try to be understanding. Think of the quarrels and problems we could avoid if everyone thought about things before they spoke and strove to keep peace no matter what has been done unto them.
We won’t always get along with everyone. We are still human and will experience strife from time to time. But developing the attitude of a peacemaker has everything to do with preparing to help bring peace to the entire world!
Peace in the World Tomorrow
These commands from Christ flow from the Ten Commandments. If we follow these instructions, we will fulfill the deeper intent of God’s commandments. Our example of observing the Ten Commandments is integral to teaching the world the true way to peace. “God’s people are about to teach the world that way—which means that we ourselves must be at peace,” Gerald Flurry wrote. “We must have peaceful marriages, peaceful families, a peaceful Church, a peaceful college and academy—by applying the Ten Commandments that were given on Mount Sinai by the great God who we are going to marry! You and I must have the way of peace in our lives or we can’t be the Bride of Christ! We have to set an example for this world to see the way of peace” (The Way of Peace Restored Momentarily).
In the World Tomorrow, the world will be filled with peacemakers, people who keep the peace no matter what slights they may experience. Undoubtedly there will still be disagreements and occasional arguments, but people will know what it means to be a peacemaker. First, they will have a group of God beings teach them how to keep the peace. That group includes you. God’s people will teach the world how to have peace and how to maintain peace throughout the universe. That is why it is imperative for God’s people to learn to be peacemakers today. Fortunately, we have a huge advantage that this world doesn’t have—God’s Spirit.
The world today will never have peace because it is not led by God’s Spirit. The carnal mind doesn’t know the way to peace, nor can it understand it. But God’s people know because they have the Holy Spirit. God’s people strive to obey the Ten Commandments. God’s Spirit can inspire us and move us so we can live peaceably with our neighbor.
God will establish peace over the entire world peace. How? By developing peacemakers in His sons today. But to be a peacemaker today we must war against our carnal nature, which requires us to control our thoughts and bridle our tongues. Become a peacemaker today by wholeheartedly trying to obey these, three specific commands. Then you will qualify to lead the world into peace tomorrow. Remember, blessed are the peacemakers.