Paul's Passing Thoughts

Peacemaking in Personal Relationships

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 24, 2020

ppt-jpeg4“Can’t we all just get along?” Those words by Rodney King are iconic, but no one ever answered the question. Biblically speaking, the answer is “yes,” and the Bible tells us how.

Peacemaking is a big deal with God. If you want to be at the top of God’s list, be a peacemaker. While happiness in this world is elusive, God says, “Happy are the peacemakers.” Here is my challenge to the home fellowship movement: building the movement will result in peace between many people and God through the gospel and that’s a really big deal. Salvation is reconciliation with God.

We have justification figured out; real sanctification is an untapped resource for the most part. Most people see no real difference in the secular world versus the Christian world. In fact, does not the present-day church brag about that very fact? Leaders of the church claim that secular people are not drawn to church “by our having-it-all-togetherness, they are drawn to us because we are a train wreck just like they are.”  I beg to differ, and accordingly, the home fellowship movement is passing on a vast frontier that could glorify God in unspeakable ways.

It all starts with being at peace with God, or being reconciled to God through the gospel. All the power we need to be peacemakers is infused into us through the new birth. As proponents of justification by new birth, we believe in infused grace. We reject the idea that salvation is a process. Besides, when you are busy keeping yourself saved, there is little time for peacemaking. Been to church lately?

Yes, our salvation is a done deal, and in fact, yes, we are moving on to something else and leaving our salvation behind. We are moving on to sanctification, and peacemaking is a big sanctification deal. Church, by its own admission, is a train wreck because it sees sanctification as a justification process. So, in regard to peace, the church is working on it, and that’s pretty evident.

For us, the totally saved, and the totally secure, there is no more condemnation, but only love. Before we were saved, you either broke the law or didn’t break the law; now, you either love or don’t love. We have passed from law to love. “Under law” is a worldview and mindset. Trust me, in a venue where everyone is under condemnation, there is no peace but only ceasefires. Been to church lately?

Note how Ephesians 4:2 links love with an important aspect of peacemaking: “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” In most cases, as Peter stated, “love covers a multitude of sin.” That is accomplished through patience. Because of infused grace, we have all the patience we need; it is, therefore, always a choice. When we lose patience and give full vent to our anger like a fool, we have failed to love.

Patience is able to deliver infinite peacemaking.

A very large volume could be written on this aspect of sanctification alone, so this post is only going to suggest a few principles. Always ask yourself why you are losing patience with someone. Of course, the opportunity to do that will not be possible unless we take Peter’s advice and do something at the beginning of every day: “prepare your mind for action.” James stated it this way: “be quick to listen and slow to speak.” Patience and an unprepared mind do not dwell in the same home. That means you anticipate situations and have a plan in place.

When you are losing patience with someone, always ask why. Are you merely being inconvenienced? Is an impatient response going to improve the situation? (Hint: it NEVER does). Is the person violating one of your preferences? (A personal law part of your canon of under-law thinking). How big of an issue is this in the scheme of things? Does this offense seem bigger than it really is because I dwell on the person’s faults and not their assets? Am I frustrated with this person’s failures, or is it a projection of my own failings in personal life-building? (Hint: those busy with personal life-building don’t have time to focus on the petty faults of others).

These thoughts are only meant to point you in the right direction, but I have one last thought. We must not only love ourselves by partaking in personal life-building, but we must want the same for others. What’s your focus? (My last question of this post). Your life-building is going to continue no matter what others do, the question follows: is the annoying behavior beneficial to their life-building, or are they partaking in any life-building at all?

But what if their behavior is interfering with my building process? Here is what my experience has taught me: in all cases, such attempts are the seeds of greater opportunities. I have never seen this principle fail, and it is another reason to practice patience.

paul

 

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