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!