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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Being an Everyday Peacemaker

BLESSED are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God (Matthew 5:9). Nothing sets Christians apart more than their love.
They glorify God, serve others diligently, all-the-while growing to be like Christ.
Some of the following relational gold was gleaned at a recent PeaceWise workshop:
“Conflict is an integral part of how God grows us up.”
— Steve Frost
Spiritual growth cannot happen in a vacuum. Time alone in solitude can teach us, but it is inadequate on its own. Conflict is an opportunity to overcome fear and pride, among other things. We cannot demonstrate humility unless we’re in relationship with others.
“Breathe peace in the midst of… [conflict, frustration, confusion, being emotional or overwhelmed].”
— Steve Frost
The hardest of all times to exercise composure is in the heat of conflict. The opportunity a close relationship with God presents is to execute breathe prayers — to literally breathe every bit of stress out that we can as we breathe every bit of peace in.
“The enemy love of God.”
— Steve Frost
The gospel holds out and open to everyone the preposterous love of God that loves most those who are most violent toward Him. As Jesus prayed that we human beings be as close as He and the Father are close, He echoed the grace that loves its enemies, notwithstanding anything they do. Such a love has not only conquered the world, it continues conquering the evil in our personal worlds.
“Live as someone never condemned by God.”
— Steve Frost
So many Christians continue to be dogged by their sin, and they therefore judge others any time they see them sin. But if we see ourselves as scandalously forgiven by God, never to ever be condemned again, living constantly in the light of such truth, we grant others the grace within which we live.
We must live as the kind of people God insists we already are.
“Conflict is a wild ride in learning.”
— Steve Frost
As I’ve often said, life is the learning ground, and the Christian life is the epitome of that.
“There is always, always, always hope.”
— Li Ai Gamble
This is something we wish every person tempted to, or carrying out, suicide knows; a reason to live. We cannot control the outcomes of life, but we can control our attitude of simply being obedient to the teachings of Jesus the best we can.
“We are so busy we’ve lost touch with what we’re actually feeling.”
— Steve Frost
Becoming more in touch with our feelings requires us to slow down. And we’re more alive as a result.
“The heart is the origin of the weirdness; it is also the wellspring of restoration.”
— Steve Frost
Probably the quote of the workshop. As Canon J. John says, “the heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart.” From our heart comes the filth that compels us to sin. From that same heart can come reconciling love that wins other hearts and restores God’s vision in the realm of relationships.
“Success for me is faithfulness to God.”
— Steve Frost
As we run the risk of pain and suffering in this life, especially as it portends in our relationships, we have to continually remind ourselves that it is success when we cooperate with the will of God.
Acknowledgement to PeaceWise that has resources here.

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