“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” — Matthew 5:9
We want our children and grandchildren to carry on our Christian faith, but we may not realize some of the reasons why many of them stop attending church. If they find more peace in a nightclub than a church, then they may lose interest in the Church. If we picture a conversation of a grandmother with her granddaughter, then we may understand what is happening.
Bertha looked out the window and saw her granddaughter, Jennifer, pulling into the driveway. It was Saturday morning and they enjoyed visiting and going shopping one Saturday each month. This morning, Jennifer had something on her mind. She said, “Grandma, I don’t know if I want to go to church anymore. Before Great-Grandpa Ralph went to Heaven, we enjoyed peace at Harmony Church, but we might need to change the church name now.”
“I don’t understand,” Bertha said. Jennifer said, “Some adults are acting more like children than I am and I’m only 17 years old. Our prayer meetings are gripe sessions and we fired two good preachers with no place to go. If we decided we didn’t like them anymore, we could have helped them find a place without being cruel.”
Bertha started crying and asked Jennifer to forgive her for being a stumbling block. Bertha admitted she enjoyed arguing and that she was unreasonable sometimes, and unrealistic about what the preacher could do. “No wonder that little group is starting Greater Harmony Church, but it didn’t have to happen,” Bertha said. Then she asked Jennifer to stay in a the church, and promised she would do better and would talk to others about peace.
In Matthew 5:9, Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Paul wrote about putting away selfishness and fulfilling God’s mission of bringing the Gospel to everyone. “Then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:2-5).
As the body of Christ, we must be willing to put aside discord and promote harmony. By doing so, we can build up fellow believers.
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Ga.
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