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Peace – She Seeks – Week of May 22

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Peace
An eight year old boy named William once wrote his pastor a letter: “Dear Pastor, I know God wants us to live in peace with everybody but He never met my sister. Sincerely, William.” I bet you and I could write similar letters … there’s always someone who seems to get under our skin, isn’t there? In a world filled with irritating people and problem makers, being able to bring peace in the midst of it all often feels impossible. We are born with a natural defense mechanism to retaliate when provoked. This is why for our parents and school teachers, training us to resolve our issues with others was one of the hardest objectives they had. While I am no longer a little girl flustered by the annoying boy pulling my pigtails on the playground, I still find myself getting into defense mode when irritated or aggravated by someone. It’s hard to want to bring peace to situations and people we don’t like. But I’m starting to understand, with the grace of God, being a peacemaker is possible. While going through some conflicts with people, I read Matthew 5:9“Blessed are the peacemakers…” When I first read this I thought, “If I will just memorize this verse, boom … I will be a peacemaker.” So I did. And nope, I wasn’t a peacemaker the next time conflict arose. I needed to have a deeper understanding of what it meant to be a peacemaker. If we look back to the Hebrew text of this verse, we would see that the word for peace here means, shalom. Shalom means: “wholeness,” “complete,” or “restored.” I don’t know about you, but for me all of the words that define shalom [peace], remind me of the things Jesus brings into my life. Because I choose to follow Him, my life is a representation of all He brings. So when Jesus said we are “blessed” when we bring peace, it is because being a peacemaker allows us to represent the depth of who He is. Some people will go to great lengths to prove themselves right. Pride and arrogance convinces them that laying aside differences is a sign of weakness. But if we can catch God’s vision of what it looks like to be a peacemaker, it will allow us to feel whole and complete in the midst of our battles. As we let go of petty stuff, we are a peacemaker.
When we are the first to say, “I’m sorry,” we bring peace.
By learning to give peace the way we want to receive peace, Jesus flows through our lives. Being a peacemaker is challenging and may not come natural. But may we be reminded today that in every conflict we have the capability to bring resolutions of peace. Something else… Nicki Koziarz is a woman pursuing peace. Read more about her journey at www.nickikoziarz.com (c) 2012 by Nicki Koziarz. All rights reserved. For more devtionals like this one, check out Proverbs 31 Ministries

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