Peacemaking – Proverbs 15:1-13
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (15:1). Conflict is like one of those very bouncy bouncing balls. Every time it hits a hard surface it is propelled back up in the air. Likewise conflict is perpetuated by hard hearts and anger bounces back and forth on the hard surfaces, gaining energy with each bounce. When a bouncing ball hits a soft surface, however, the ball is absorbed into that soft surface and it loses its energy at once. So if the ball hits the floor, then the wall (you can tell that I have young children!), then the couch, it will stop immediately when it is absorbed by the soft cushions on the couch.
It is the same when anger strikes a soft and gracious heart. The gracious heart absorbs the anger and does not return it. When this happens the endless bouncing ball of conflict is finally stilled and there is peace again. It is not just because the gracious person is willing to not return anger. Conflict is stilled when the gracious person returns love; when, rather than defending himself and retaliating, he listens, empathises and apologises.
This is what it means to be a peacemaker. It is willingness to absorb the wrongs of others. This is what Jesus did for us and He calls us to do it for one another so that the cycle of vengeance in the world will come to an end.
It is not easy to live by grace. But it is much harder to live in endless conflict.
Read Proverbs 15:1-13
Ask God to help you to become a gracious person.
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Published 2019 by 5ive Pty Ltd.
Used with permission
Matthew Jacoby’s central passion is for communicating the Word of God. His desire is to learn what it means to live life by the Spirit of God, to learn to listen to God constantly and to be a transparent and honest witness to the faithfulness of God. He is the author of the daily devotional Thrive.
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