How To Be A Peacemaker (2)

We have seen that peacemakers must have certain attitudes. Now let us look at the actions of peacemakers towards those who have done them harm: Forsaking anger. Jesus taught that anger can be as serious an offense as murder (Matthew 5:21). Those who desire peace will eradicate anger from their hearts by forgiving those who have hurt them (6:12,14-15). Taking the initiative. The Lord commanded that we go to anyone who has anything against us and seek reconciliation right away, even before we come to worship (5:23-25). We are not to wait for him to come to us. Refusing to fight. It takes two to quarrel. Disciples of Christ should be willing to suffer personal wrong rather than retaliate (5:38-39). Going the extra mile. Not only should we recoil from revenge; we should accede to the demands of those who would exploit us and give them even more than they seek (5:40-42). Loving our enemies. These actions should flow from a heart of love (5:43-48). Love will lead us to bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who exploit and even persecute us. Reforming ourselves. Outrage towards another for his wrongdoing should be turned into introspection to see how we have been guilty of a similar, or even the same, offense (7:1-6). Only then shall we see clearly enough to rebuke the one who has hurt us. Praying for God to act. Of course, we cannot do any of this without God’s intervention in our lives. Nor can we hope to influence others by our own example or exhortations unless God works in their hearts. Jesus therefore commands us to “Ask” (or, in the Greek, “Keep on asking”). And He promises that if we do so, we shall receive (7:7-12).