Blessed Are the Peacemakers
"You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family." (Matthew 5:9 MSG)
When people disagree with you, God wants you to respond with integrity, humility, and civility.
Sadly, civility has become a counter culture value in our society. I don't know if you've noticed how uncivil our culture has become. People are just flat out rude today. Have you noticed that? They're rude. They're not polite to each other. They're not civil with each other.
As our nation becomes more pluralized - that means we have more people coming in from different perspectives, different places - the more divisive people are becoming.
I was interviewed the other day by somebody who said, "We keep hearing about this second reformation. What would you like to see happen in America?" I said I'd like to see three things: the restoration of credibility in the Church, the restoration of responsibility in individual lives, and the restoration of civility in our culture so you can disagree without being disagreeable.
Why do I want that? Because Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." Not the people who create conflict and division but the peacemakers, the bridge builders.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:9, "You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight" (MSG). I want God's blessing on your life, so I want you to learn how to be civil toward people. God wants you to do that.
One of the most famous quotes of Jesus is found in Matthew 7:12: "In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you" (NIV). It's called the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The word for that is "civility."
Civility is just treating other people the way you'd like to be treated, even if you disagree with them - even if they're flat-out, dead wrong. Even if they're fighting against you, you treat them the way you would like to be treated. That's civility.
Talk It Over
How do you think the restoration of civility in our culture is tied to the restoration of credibility in the Church?
- What is your typical reaction when someone disagrees with you? How do you think God wants you to react?