Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Where is peace? 4
Eu-o-dia and Syn-ty-che, who have become such bitter combatants that they are disrupting the church, have forgotten all about being freed from their own past indiscretions and have gotten sidetracked with unimportant issues. They had forgotten that their job #1, their number one priority was to win people to Jesus. All that other stuff wasn't really that important. It is a distraction put in our path by the enemy. That is the simplest and most innocent way we slide off the tracks. We get caught up in the unimportant, in the minutiae and forget where we are going. If we stay on this path long enough we can forget why as well. Pretty soon we are locked in a battle that has absolutely no significance, and we are wallowing in the mud with our adversaries. And, who will follow us then? Not the people at church. Not the people at work. Not even our family members. And why should they?
When you and I forget why we are here and turn our focus away from the job that we have been given, it is then that we start to fight with one another over things that have no eternal significance whatsoever.
Who cares what color the carpet is, or if someone used your room and left it messed it up, or what date the company picnic is on and whose house it will be held at?
Yes, you can voice your opinion about these things, but if the decisions don’t go the way that you think they should, you do not have the right to get so angry with everyone that you let it destroy your relationships and your witness.
We are here to bring people to Jesus!
We are here to help restore each other to wholeness.
All this other stuff is just that…stuff.
Paul gave one more piece of advice to help these two people get back in relationship. He asked another person in the church to act as a mediator to pull them back together.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said,
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9)
When you help to bring peace, you are taking on the character of Christ. Christ brought peace between us and God, but it cost Him His life.
Are you willing to be a peacemaker?
What price are you willing to pay for peace?
Paul presses on. He says that we had better learn to be at peace with each other now. We will be with them for all of eternity.
In order for there to be peace in that church, and between these two women, they had to put away their pride, forgive one another, and get back to the job that God had called them to do in the first place.
Before they could be used by God to bring forgiveness into the lives of others, they themselves had to forgive.
Are you holding onto anger or bitterness or hurt against someone in your life?
At work, home or church:
Are you the peacemaker or the pot-stirrer?