I’d like to teach the world to sing

Anyone can get into a fight. It takes no brains to fight, only glands. Growing up as a Christian involves many learned behaviors, like telling the truth, putting others ahead of yourself, and deferring gratification. It also involves learning how to be a peacemaker.

Harmony between people, even between Christians, never just happens, because our natural state is fighting. The apostle Peter grew up a lot from the first time he laid down his fishing nets to follow Jesus: “Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:8,9).

Living in harmony with other people means enjoying their successes without envy or resentment. It means being willing to bear some of their pain. It means helping them in their projects at least as much as you are trying to get them to help you. It means making them feel important, listening to their ideas and problems first before airing your personal philosophies.

Peacemakers refuse to play the retaliation game; they let the Lord take care of vengeance. Our job is simply to broker to others the same mercy from heaven that the Lord has first given to us. There is a sweet reward for this heavenly work—God is watching, and he blesses the blessers.

Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.

 

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