THEY ARE WAITING FOR YOU
by paul hoffmaster
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What impedes our spiritual growth pattern is the lack of understanding the implications and directions of God’s Word. Due to selective reading, we have a tendency to accept only Scriptures that fit into our comfort zones. For example, Scriptures that direct us to give away our hard earned money and to live a life totally dependent upon God are glossed over in favor of a teaching on prosperity. Instead of understanding giving, we stand on the concept of receiving. The path the Christian is called upon to take is not always the road of least resistance. God calls Believers to walk by faith and not by sight. Needless to say, that takes determination and commitment.
One area in which many Believers fall short is the lack of understanding the difference between a PEACEKEEPER and a PEACEMAKER. The peacekeeper does not alleviate conflict, but tries to keep it within certain bounds. The peacekeeper attempts to sooth over the problem instead of addressing it, even if it entails compromising spiritual principles. The peacekeeper hopes time will resolve the problem. The peacekeeper does not try to alleviate conflict, but tries to keep it from expanding. The peacemaker, on the other hand, addresses the causes of conflict. The peacemaker uses the Word of God to help to resolve the situation. The peacemaker enters into conflicts so as to bring victory for the kingdom of God.
When Jesus spoke with His disciples that last time on the mount of Ascension, He told them they were to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth. (Acts 1:8) Jerusalem represents our community, including our family, both immediate and extended. Many times we are ready to witness, but tragically we overlook those the closest to us. We are to be a peacemaker within our own families. There are families today that are in conflict with one another and the spiritual leaders within those units are doing nothing to help resolve the problem. When problems arise in families, it is the children that are affected the most. Resentments are passed on from one generation to another. Many conflicts are carried on by unforgiving adults, both in the local family cell and the extended family. Where is the example for the children when the adults act like children? Whenever conflicts are tolerated instead of addressed, Satan gains a strong hold in those families. It is time for Christians to realize that they are to be the peacemakers for that is what God commands us to be. (Matt. 5:9)
Those who qualify as a peacekeeper claim that they attempted to be a peacemaker but it brought no resolve, so they did the “Pilate hand wash.” The reason they gave up as a peacekeeper was because those who were the participants in conflict kept rejecting their efforts. Are we not glad that God never gave up on us when we continually rejected His offers? Jesus told Peter that he was to forgive his offenders seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:22)
The biggest cause of conflict within families, both immediate and extended, is pride and a self massaged ego. People need to learn to say “I am sorry,” “Forgive me,” “Let us start over,” “What can I do to resolve this problem?” Life is too short to harbor resentments that can grow into long time hurts. Enough is enough; the battle awaits your arrival, PEACEMAKER!
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