Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”1
A good friend of Kim is getting married. She is invited to the wedding and she knows Greg is invited too. That burns her on the inside. Kim cannot forget the wrong Greg did to her and she does not know if she will ever forgive him. Even the thought of him being in the wedding boils her blood. She will have to be at the same event and possibly in the same circle of conversations, since they both share many friends. She knows for sure Greg must attend and Kim does not feel right not to go to the wedding. Her friend would not forgive her either if she does not attend the wedding.
This seems like a difficult dilemma for Kim, but Jesus’ teaching on this was quite clear.
If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God. Or say you’re out on the street and an old enemy accosts you. Don’t lose a minute. Make the first move; make things right with him.2
We need to make peace within ourselves and with people with whom we have conflict. It is very hard to “make peace.” It involves humility because a proud heart will not make the first move. Pride will make us think that we are better than the with whom people we have conflict. Whether we are in the wrong or the other person wronged us, it is we—and not the other person—who need to take the initiative. That is, to “make peace.” That is the only way for us to be peacemakers.
Most of us know the feeling of being wronged or hurt deeply. “Why should I make peace with the him/her? It’s not my fault. It is his/her problem not to receive my forgiveness, if he/she does not ask that of me.” And even when we are in the wrong, it can be pretty hard to ask for forgiveness from some people. But that is exactly what Jesus asks us to become: Peacemakers!
And was that not exactly what Jesus himself did? He was innocent. Yet he made peace by leaving heaven to be born Jewish, died on a Roman cross between two criminals, rose from the dead, and went back to heaven. If God almighty did that, then we as children of God ought to do likewise.
God is the true peacemaker. When we humble ourselves to be peacemakers, we demonstrate “like father like child.”
- Matthew 5:9 WEB
- Matthew 5:23-25 The Message