Lukis, my first grandson, has a beautiful baby sister named Karli. To celebrate her first birthday, we decided to eat at one of their favorite (fun) restaurants. While I was bringing our tray of food over to the table, I overheard Lukis telling my wife, Elli, that a little boy hit him while they were in the play area. I could see that Lukis was quite troubled about this. He let it go enough to start eating, but about the time his chicken nuggets were gone, he asked me, “Papa, why did that boy hit me?”
Without wanting to find that little boy myself, I did try to explain why some people are rude, selfish or just plain mean. Even though he is very bright, I observed he was still bothered by the fact that another boy would hit him for no reason. So, I changed the focus and helped him understand what his response should be if that might happen again. The truth is God wants us to live in peace (and joy) with everyone. In fact, God empowers you to be a peacemaker, not a troublemaker.
“Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness,” (James 3:18, New International Version).
It is no secret that the stresses of our lives can often prevent us from “rising above” the situation. Obviously with Lukis there was a protective moment in me, but I knew it was much more important to teach him how to respond in this unhappy moment. As adults, the issues of life can hurt much more than a quick hit in the play area. In fact, I would not want to minimize any hurt you may feel, so let me offer a few thoughts to you:
Attack the problem, not the person. Protect the relationship, but speak the truth in love.
Cooperate whenever possible. Let go of hurt and anger.
Actively focus on promoting reconciliation, not resolution. Reconciliation ends hostility, but it doesn’t mean you’ve resolved all the issues.
I know this is so much easier said than done, but I encourage you to start somewhere, even if it’s just a simple prayer.
Is there an opportunity for you to be a peacemaker in your life?
Lord – help me to understand that you empower me to live in peace. Teach me to let go of things that have caused stress and distraction and direct me to the peace you intended me to have.