Peacemaking in relationships is based on three basic principles – these are the truth, the love and the good.
In the previous posts, we discussed what is Gods answer to the human longing for peace and what is the starting point if we want peace in our relationships. Since God is God of peace, it is not surprising that God’s instruction is to actively seek peace with all people, to make peace and to maintain peace.
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14)
Truth and peacemaking in relationships
The search for peace begins with the truth. We need to look for it, to understand it, to acknowledge it, to accept and apply it. The Bible calls this process rendering of true and sounds judgement in our courts. Our courts are the mind, emotions, inner attitudes and opinions.
These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgement in your courts. (Zechariah 8:16)
The first and most important truth with which we need to come into agreement and be at peace are God’s truths and instructions revealed in His word. They are eternal and unchangeable and give us the framework and boundaries of a godly life, protecting us from evil and harm.
God’s word has something to say, especially on the topic of how to treat one another and what our inner attitude should be. The basic principle is the one of imitation – as we treat the others imitating the way God is treating us. For example, we know that God wants us to forgive and to harbor hostility in our hearts as He forgives us in Christ. This is a truth that applies to every relationship. The second type of truth concerns the specific situation and person. We need to have a true, unbiased judgment about things and to judge righteously.
Speaking the truth
It is very important not only to think truth but also to speak the truth to one another. God’s word says we all members of one body. (Ephesians 4:25) The lies and deceit hurt and bind not only us but the others. There are times and a way to tell painful truths. When we are motivated by love and wish well to the person, we will find the right time with God’s help to talk about difficult and conflicting issues. Because the truth brings freedom and the possibility to heal.
Love and peacemaking in relationships
Peace means getting rid of any hostile attitude. To make peace is to rid of lies, anger, unwholesome talk, bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, and slander, along with every form of malice, jealousy, and hatred. (Ephesians 4: 25-32) When we recognize such things in our hearts, let us be quick to ask and accept forgiveness from God and invite Him to purify our hearts.
The framework and motivation of all our relationships should be sincere and pure love and acceptance of one another. This love involves recognizing and focusing on the common among us; on this what connects us. At least we all have a common origin – we are made in the image and likeness of God. Believers also have a common heritage, one common faith, one Lord, one baptism, one Spirit and one hope to which God has called us, one God and Father of all. (Ephesians 4:3-6)
God calls us to look at each other as close relatives and kinsmen, members of God’s family. We may not like all of our relatives, nor maintain equally close relationships with all, but that does not alter the fact that we are related to them. We are to express this kind of perception externally in showing a kind, gentle, good, respectful and honoring attitude.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)
Become a peacemaker. Choose to walk along the paths of truth, goodness, and love.
It is impossible to walk in the path of peace and to choose to think or do evil. Strife and hostility are evil. Offense is evil. Revenge is evil. Envy, resentment, and lies are evil. The path of peace means hating what is evil and clinging to what is good. (Romans 12: 9) The steps along this path also include helping and meeting needs, hospitality, blessing others, showing sympathy and compassion, and modest thinking.
The path of peace also includes the adopting of thinking, which focuses on the common interest and good, not primarily on our own. Another key element of this path is the refusal to take revenge and every form of revanchism. This is an active expression of faith and trust in God, the righteous Judge because it is His to avenge. (Romans 12:19) The word of God instructs us to take care even of our enemies (or those we consider such) and tend to their needs. Because this is the way to bring peace, as we obey the highest command to love.
The path of peace is difficult and requires focus, constant dedication, and God’s grace. This is a path outlined within the boundaries of truth, good and loving God and our neighbor. The more we advance on this path this, the more God’s kingdom grows in us and around us. We become recipients and bearers of peace, joy, power, renewal, balance, and divine order. As peacemakers, we learn to sow in peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:18)
In which of these three areas do you experience the most difficulties? What is the biggest challenge for you in being a peacemaker in your relationships? You are welcome to share and comment!