FRIDAY, JANUARY 24
“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.”
James 3:17-18 (NLT2)
PEACEMAKERS ARE WILLING TO CHANGE
Two elderly people were living in a retirement home. He was a widower and she a widow. They had known each other for several years. One evening there was a community supper in the big activity center. The two were at the same table, across from one another. As the meal went on, he took a few admiring glances at her and finally gathered the courage to ask her, “Will you marry me?” After about six seconds of ‘careful consideration’, she answered “Yes. Yes, I will.” The meal ended and, with a few more pleasant exchanges, they went to their respective places.
The next morning, he was troubled. “Did she say ‘yes’ or did she say ‘no’?” He couldn’t remember. Try as he might, he just could not recall. Not even a faint memory. With trepidation, he went to the telephone and called her. First, he explained that he didn’t remember as well as he used to. Then he reviewed the lovely evening past. As he gained a little more courage, he inquired, “When I asked if you would marry me, did you say ‘Yes’ or did you say ‘No’?” He was delighted to hear her say, “Why, I said, ‘Yes, yes I will’ and I meant it with all my heart.” Then she continued, “I am so glad that you called, because I couldn’t remember who had asked me.”
One of the first keys to be a peacemaker is that you must be willing. On Sunday Mike emphasized that James 3:17 teaches we must be “willing to yield to others.” There are certain hills that we should die on and issues we should not surrender. However, we don’t need to die on every hill. We must also choose our battles carefully. In those areas that aren’t critical we should have an openness to negotiate and change.
When you think about conflict you are currently facing, what are the negotiables and what are the non-negotiables? Ask God to show you those areas where you need to be willing to yield and trust Him with the results. In Matthew 5:9 Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” God promises to bless us when we pursue peace. Thank Him for that promise.