SPIRITUAL MATTERS: Be a peacemaker, not a wimp

Karl is upset that his wife constantly comes home late after work, but he says nothing.
Why? He thinks he is being like Christ by not saying anything; but he does give her a cold shoulder.
Pam disagrees with her coworkers at lunch when they slander her boss, but she’s afraid to speak up.
“I don’t want to rock the boat by speaking up and disagreeing,” she says.
Bob was deeply offended by some remarks that Pete made, but he said nothing to Pete.
Bob has carried a grudge for months now. He badmouths Pete behind his back but has said nothing to Pete about it.
Sharon thinks her boyfriend is irresponsible but feels bad for him.
He has had so much pain already in his life, she thinks. How can I add to that? So she backs down from telling him the truth about the way his behavior is slowly killing their relationship.
What’s the common denominator here? You have four people claiming to be doing what they are doing in the name of peace. They are claiming to be peacemakers.
“Oh we won’t bring this up. Oh we don’t want to rock the boat.”
The truth is, they are not peacemakers; they are wimps!
You see, the way of true peace will never come through pretending what is wrong is right.
True peacemakers love God, love others, and love themselves enough to disrupt false peace in order to achieve true peace.
We take Jesus’ words in (Matthew 5:9) Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God…and we say, “I am a peacemaker!
So I don’t confront. I don’t share how I really feel. I feel that my duty as a Christian is to sweep things under the rug and pretend everything is ok.
Peter Scazzero, in his book “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality” says that “spiritualizing away conflict” is one of the top ten emotional dysfunctions that we have.
So we go through life experiencing the pain of unresolved conflicts and bad feelings. We say one thing to people’s faces and then another behind their backs. We make promises we have no intention of keeping.
We give in because we’re afraid of not being liked. We tell only half the truth because we don’t want to hurt them. We hold grudges and bitterness. Rather than resolving conflict in a healthy way, speaking the truth in love, we blow up and get defensive.
Jesus, the ultimate peacemaker, knew how to confront when necessary. He knew how to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). At CCC, we are in a series where we are discussing how to do this better. Feel free to join us.
The Rev. Greg Henneman is senior pastor of Clarkston Community Church

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