U-turn toward peace

I’ve always wondered why peacemaking is not considered a spiritual gift. Jesus called the peacemakers among us blessed. There are people who seem to have a natural inclination toward peace. Those are the people that bless the rest of us as they show us the more peaceful way of Christ.

Let’s be honest.

As much as we say we want peace, we’ll make it difficult. A sermon or Spirit-filled prayer can inspire us to seek the peace of God one moment. We’ll feel inspired to do what it takes to live in peace with other people. Before we know it, we’re back to our waring ways.

Peacemaking doesn’t come that easy to a lot of us. It requires something of us we aren’t always willing to give. That’s right, making peace is something we have to be willing to do. I know we have the ability; we can make peace. 1 Peter 3:11 says that those who love life must “turn from evil and do good” and to “seek peace and pursue it.”

God doesn’t direct us where we can’t go.

So, what do we do if we aren’t those natural peacemaking people? According to what we just read from 1 Peter, we have to turn. I’m reminded of a title of a book I once read: God Allows U-Turns.

Amen to that.

But you can’t just tell an addict to stop, right? They need help. They need support. They need encouragement and love. That’s why we have the church, too. Those of us who aren’t prone to making peace learn by the witness of those others we are walking with in faith. We aren’t admiring them from afar. It’s easy to point to people like Mother Teresa or MLK and thank God for their work. We should be thankful for what they were able to accomplish.

But also look to the people the rest of the world will never know that are close to you. They should be in your church. And you should be walking with them. Also, within the fellowship of God’s family, the Holy Spirit inspires, corrects, leads and comforts us all.

James 3:18 says, “And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.” That tells me we also need patience. Patience with others and with ourselves.

A harvest doesn’t appear. It grows. Much has happened before the harvest is ready. There’s been a lot of work to get to that moment. Think of the sweat, backaches and tiresome nights. Some days have been perfect for the work. Others have been disastrous.

Still, the work continued. Now, the blessing is the harvest itself.

Let that be our image today. If we seek peace, as hard as it is to do, there is a blessing of peace we will know. Isn’t that worth your u-turn?

Stay blessed…john