Our theme for this month: “Changing the tone of the conversation”
Our Bible verse for today: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “You can be the peacemaker”
Matthew 5:9 is often understood in conjunction with Matthew 5:44-45. There we read, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. For he causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
Matthew 5:9 urges us to be peacemakers – those who love peace and who look for opportunities to introduce peace into situations where it does not exist. Matthew 5:44-45 reminds us of God’s “common grace”. This is the form of grace the He freely bestows upon all, even upon those who are in disagreement with Him. The implication is that He even blesses His enemies. We then are urged to be like God in that respect.
Authentic disciples of Jesus emulate Him in that we are gracious and kind, even to those who may not deserve it, and even towards those we are in disagreement with. Additionally, Jesus’ meaning here in this part of His Sermon on the Mount is that we should be the ones who turn an angry situation into a peaceful one.
The old illustration of the difference between a thermometer and a thermostat applies here. A thermometer reflects the temperature in the room. A thermostat controls the temperature in the room. A person who is like a thermometer simply reflects back the emotional situation they find themselves in. So if there’s anger in the room, the thermometer gets angry too. If there is sadness, then the thermometer is sad. They are influenced by and reflect back whatever the environment is.
But a thermostat changes things. If there’s sadness, the thermostat introduces joy. If there’s anxiety, the thermostat speaks words of hope and assurance. If there’s anger, the thermostat attempts to find peaceful solutions. At a minimum he or she helps to moderate the tone of the discussion by speaking words of calmness and peace.
Jesus expects us to be the thermostats, people who change things for the better. Specifically, within the context of changing the tone of the conversation, we are to be the calm voices of reason; we are to speak words of kindness and love; we are to be the peacemakers.
It is possible to stand your ground with respect to Biblical principles, and do so without compromising the truth, but do it gently, kindly, and respectfully. You can be the peacemaker in whatever situation you find yourself.