Copying Jesus when it comes to relationships isn’t easy. He sets a pretty high standard and for whatever reason, I tend to want to take an easier, more comfortable route.
But as Pastor Craig at LifeChurch.tv preached this weekend, “Family is worth it.”
The message was about being a peacemaker. The key verse was:
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
~ Matthew 5:9
What Peacemakers Do
In the sermon, Craig pointed out the difference between peacekeepers and peacemakers.
A peacekeeper avoids conflict to keep the peace. They tiptoe around the issues.
A peacemaker embraces conflict to make peace. They work on the issues.
As Jesus points out, our goal is to be peacemakers.
- Tell the truth in love.
- Apologize when they are wrong.
- Forgive and let go.
This is a pretty high standard to keep in difficult situations. I’m certainly guilty of wanting to be a peacekeeper (at best) instead of a peacemaker.
The Part that Stood Out to Me
The part of the sermon that really stood out to me was when Craig spoke about why this is so important.
He said, “Family is worth it,” and he told a story of forgiveness.
Jesus’ standard on forgiveness is where things get really tough. He says:
But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too.
Matthew 5:39-40 (NLT)
Craig challenged me further with this verse:
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Colossians 3:13 (NLT)
He went on to ask, “Has God forgiven you of a lot of sins?”
If so, then you must also offer a lot of forgiveness because family is worth it. This struck home with me.
Thoughts on Forgiving & Peacemaking
Jesus sets the bar high in relationships because he knows how important they are to a fulfilling life. Family relationships are sometimes the toughest because they are the most intimate. It is where we are the most vulnerable.
I know from my own experience, it is incredibly easy to become offended by some wrong. This is especially true when I perceive my wife or another family member committed an offense against me. It could be something as simple as a tone of voice that hits me the wrong way.
It is so tempting to want to punish the “offender” when these situations occur. I want to be mad and hold on to my grievance as a way to teach them a lesson.
Turning the other cheek and forgiving as God forgave me is usually the furthest thing from my mind.
However, I need to believe family is worth it. Obviously, peacemaking and forgiving are areas where I still have work to do to copy Jesus. How about you?
What are your thoughts on this? Leave a comment and let me know.