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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Blessed are the Peacemakers

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This past Sunday was GREAT (and not just because the Cowboys finally got their act together and won.)!! You know the kind of Sunday where you could go home after the opening worship because it ministers so deeply to your heart! But it didn't stop with the worship. The message was equally as powerful. I had planned to bring my red, sprial companion with me (as she goes everywhere now and I usually get some great blogging material from our sermons). Unfortunally, she got left behind and I had to resort to the back of the offering envelope. Well, let me tell you, I write pretty small and the back of that envelope is covered with great stuff from Eph 4 (which I will dive into in an upcoming post).

One of the main points was that as Christians, we are called (and by called I mean "invited") to live a life of unity.  I have been seeing Matthew 5:9, "Blessed are the peacemakers," scroll across my screen several times in the past couple of days. So the theme has been on my mind lately but I wasn't sure why. Until I went online...

As I checked my emails, I noticed one from a family member. She had written it on my Facebook wall (so everyone could read it). This wasn't the first message I'd received from her that was unkind. She had been leaving them for over a week. I had not responded because like Thumper's momma always says,"If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Not exactly words of scripture, but good advise none the less.  As I read the lastest one, my temper began to rise. Enough was enough!! I couldn't hold my tounge another minute! She had attacked my family loyality, my character and even my testimony as a Christian, which in all honesty was in danger at this point! She is not a believer and has a tendency to speak first and think later. And because my testimony is so very important to me (especially to my unsaved family members), I normally hold my tounge. But this time she'd gone too far.

As I went about my morning, stewing over the situation and carefully choosing the words I was going to use in my reply, Matthew 5:9 kept repeating itself over and over in my mind. "Blessed are the peacemakers. Blessed are the peacemakers." "But God you don't understand. This isn't right! She can't keep saying hurtful things and get away with it. I have to say something!" "Blessed are the peacemakers." "Seriously???!! You have to be kidding!  She's not even talking to me privately about this. She's posting it on my Facebook wall so EVERYONE can read it!!" "Blessed are the peacemakers." Even as I was having this inner argument, my heart knew what I had to do. All the "Buts..." didn't matter. My feelings, honestly, didn't matter. God was calling me to unity. He was calling me to be the peacemaker, whether I wanted to do it or not.

I opened my email and sent a simple, two-sentence reply. All I did was answer the question she had initially asked and just let the rest go. I didn't respond the way I wanted to. But it wasn't about me (although it sure felt like it.) It was about answering the call to a life of peaceful obedience, regardless of my own personal feelings. I clicked "send" and let God take care of the rest, which He did. The next day, another message was waiting for me, an apology for the harsh way she had spoken to me. In all our years, I've never received an apology from her. I knew in that moment that God had indeed taken care of the situation and honored my obedience. Had I responded the way I wanted to feelings would have been hurt, a relationship would have been damaged and worst of all, my testimony would have been tarnished~possibily leaving a lasting impression of what a "Christian" is really like.

God is a God of justice. It is up to Him to right wrongs, in His own way, in His own time.

With Thanksgiving only a week away, you may have to spend time with people that have offended you, hurt you. This holiday, don't allow the enemy to ruin a beautiful time with loved ones. Let this holiday be a new beginning. Be the peacemaker you have been called to be!


Fawn said... [Reply to comment]

Wow, that's awful. Your message is great but the way your family member was speaking to you is awful. I'm happy she apologized. And I'm happy you chose to be the peacemaker.


Karen Dawkins said... [Reply to comment]

We just talked about this in our church small group last night. When we grow in our walk with Jesus, it seems that the things people have always done start to hurt more. When we choose not to engage (I think of Jesus at his "trial" choosing to say nothing at all), we allow the situation to diffuse. Praying for all the families I know, including mine, that the Jesus-followers will stand firm in our faith, peacemakers. Great post!

Ginny Marie said... [Reply to comment]

This is such a great message to remember! I find it hard to be a peacemaker, especially when I feel I am right. God's plan is not my plan, though, and His plan is always better!

jamiejoy said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks for sharing your testimony of how God is transforming you! This is such a timely post in light of Thanksgiving. And I laughed when I read the part about how you heard Thumper in your head because I often quote him, too. =)

Hope your holiday is filled with wonderful memories!

Shannon Milholland said... [Reply to comment]

Loving the cheddar turkey bake - what a great way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers!

Torrie said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks Ladies. I'm so blessed by your comments. Hope you all have had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Shannon, I'm getting ready to post the recipe right now.

Kalyn said... [Reply to comment]

Ah, peace. One of the fruits I struggle with the most. I either say something unkind, or sit and stew about the issue. It is so hard to let things go in order to keep a peaceful relationship with family and friends. Thank you for the great reminder!

Rebecca said... [Reply to comment]

I am in one of these situations now, just biting my tongue until I figure out the graceful way to deal with the situation. It is just so hard sometimes to swallow that pride and not say all those witty comebacks you've been rehearsing in your head (am I the only one?) Thank you so much for this reminder...what perfect timing.

P.S... I just found your blog through (In)Courage. Nice to meet you!

Torrie said... [Reply to comment]

Hi Rebecca
Welcom to BBM! Yes, it is hard to not speak your mind. Just this past weekend I had to spend time with family member that this post was based on. It was VERY difficult to host dinner for her. My stomach was in knots as the dinner hour approached. When it came to the couple of hours she was at my home, God settled my nerves, gave us a peaceful (even pleasant) evening. Praying a sweet peace over you and your situation too.

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