New International Version (NIV)
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
I read a Facebook post yesterday and I can't get it off my mind:
"For the record, I am not a small claims court. I am not a mediator. I don't care about your personal situation or sob story. If you want someone to help you collect something which you feel is owed to you--I am not your attorney, nor am I the court. When you make bad relationship and life choices, it is not my place to help you. Why do people think I'd have an interest in their drama? *block*"
(For those who are unfamiliar with Facebook, the *block* at the end of the above statement means that the author is going remove certain people from his "Friends" list so he won't have to read their drama-filled posts.)
When I read this, my heart was filled with a kind of sadness that I don't recall ever feeling before. Part of it is disappointment. I'm disappointed that the author isn't looking at this situation as opportunity to be a peacemaker. As Christians, shouldn't we be trying to help others we know to work out their differences? To help others learn what it means to ask for and receive forgiveness? But it's bigger and heavier than that. What would life be like if God treated our requests for help in this way? My mind keeps wandering to a scenario where I'm the one asking God for help, and the above words are His response to me.
I keep thinking about another statement I heard recently: "According to your faith, so be it unto you." When I think about that one, it scares me. It makes me think of all the times I've failed to live out the things I claim to believe. It makes me thankful for God's mercy and grace. Thankful that every day brings new opportunities to extend grace as it has been extended to me.
I'm going to try something different...I've never really prayed back scripture before. But there are some verses (from 1 Timothy 2 and Matthew 5 & 6) that really apply to the thoughts I've been having the last few days.
Heavenly Father, You are the only God. And there is only one mediator between You and mankind, Jesus Christ, who gave his life as a ransom for all people. Help us to live peaceful lives that reflect the faith we proclaim. Use our lives to bring others to know You as Savior and friend.
Today, we pray for Angie, Bob, and Amy, who need the gift of Your salvation. We pray for Johnny, Evelyn, and Sherry, who need the gift of Your peace. We pray for Gloria and Jessica, who need the gift of Your direction. Where should they go next? Reveal Your will to them. We thank You for the wonderful news of Gary's successful surgery and the fact that his cancer did not spread. "Our prayers were answered 'to the max'," Gary's family says. We thank You for his healing and continued recovery. We pray for all those who are undergoing treatments. You know their needs. Give those patients and their families the strength they need to get through each day. We thank You for the life of Chuck who is with You now in Paradise.
Lord, we know that nothing would please You more than our obedience. For us to worship and pray, without anger or disputing, but with our hands lifted high bringing Glory to Your name. And finally, remind us of Your words from Matthew 5 above. Remind us what it means to forgive as You forgive us. Help us to be peacemakers...the kind of children that You call us to be. Amen.