Saturday, December 22, 2012

Peace on earth; goodwill toward men

Today is my blog post # 11 of my 12 blogs of Christmas.  Before I share today’s post topic ‘being a peacemaker’ let me share a few more Christmas cards with you.

The other day I was talking about Rick Warren’s definition of one of the purposes of Christmas.  Rick says that one of the purposes of Christmas is to have peace on earth, goodwill to men.  When I talked about peace the other day I talked about peace with yourself, but there are other components of peace.  How about peace with others?  Do you know a peacemaker?  Sure you do.  I’m sure you have met someone (or someone’s) who go out of their way to ensure that there is peace.  There are world peacemakers who try to bring peace between nations and there are family peacemakers who are trying to bring peace within a family and yes there are workplace peacemakers who are trying to ensure everyone just gets along.

The scriptures say that we quarrel among ourselves because we are seeking our own selfish desires.  Ouch.  That is so true of me.  I find that I often have conflict with others when they are preventing me from getting what I want.  Do you ever find yourself in conflict when you are trying to help another person get what they want?  Not usually.  It’s funny how that works.   

‘For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.’
 James 3:16.

When we unselfishly work to meet others needs and not our own, somehow many of the conflicts in life disappear.  This example I’m about to share hasn’t happened to me but I know it happens.   A family member dies and the family is ‘discussing’ how to split up the deceased family member’s estate.  Have you heard of families that never speak again after that conflict?  She got the XXX and I only got the YYYY.  Hmmm, sounds like selfish ambition was at the root of that conflict.  And what about the family member that prioritizes work over spending time with their family.  That person may say they are working hard to improve the lives of their family, but sometimes those conflicts arise because the workaholic is after the satisfaction of getting the title, the car, the big house as a selfish ambition.

Ouch and double ouch.  I know that I have selfish ambitions and I know that they cause many of the conflicts in my life.  I will prayerfully seek God’s help to desire His plan for my life.  When I am seeking God’s plan, hopefully I won’t be pursuing my own selfish desires and creating conflict.  I want to be a peacemaker, but I recognize that the way for me to be a peacemaker is to get control over my selfish ambitions.  The verse I think of when I think of getting control over my selfishness is below.

‘and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.’  Romans 12:2.

This verse reminds me that I should not let my mind be filled with ‘things of this world’ which often stir up those marketing induced selfish desires.  Instead I need to focus my mind on things of God.  Then my desires will be God’s desires and I will be better able to be an effective peace-maker.  How about you?  Do you strive to be a peace-maker and help us bring about peace on earth, goodwill to men?  What do you do to help be a better peace-maker?

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