Ryan is the Senior Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel in Hickory, NC. He is the host of the "In The Room" podcast, and the author of 8 Hours, Or Less: Writing Faithful Sermons Faster.  

What Do You Champion?

We’re all champions of something. I don’t mean in an athletic sense. A champion is a person who fights for a cause, product, or way of doing something. We’re all champions of something, the question is “what”?

In Matthew 5:9 Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” So according to Jesus:

The children of God are champions of peace.

A peacemaker is someone who strives to live peaceably and pursue peace at every opportunity. Notice, there’s an active and a passive component to peacemaking. Let’s start with the passive component…

Peacemakers Are Peaceable.

To use a biblical term, a peacemaker is NOT “quarrelsome.” In 1 Timothy 3:3 Paul says elders aren’t to be “quarrelsome.” So to be peaceable means to be un-hostile, or inclined and predisposed to peace. Peacemakers aren’t looking for a fight all the time.

We all know someone who is always looking for a fight. Social media is filled with people like this - quarrelsome, cheerless, combative people. You could post a picture of kittens and sunshine and they’re like, “Really? Kittens and sunshine? I like puppies and rain.” Maybe you live with a person like this. Maybe you are a person like this. This kind of combative attitude is the opposite of being a peacemaker. Peacemakers strive to live peaceably. 

Let me qualify this by saying that living peaceably doesn’t mean you live a life of appeasement. Appeasement seeks to sweep things under the rug so as to avoid conflict. Being peaceable doesn’t mean you avoid conflict, it simply means you don’t go looking for it. 

Peacemakers are peaceable. 

Peacemakers Pursue Peace.

Notice Jesus doesn’t say, “Blessed are the peacekeepers.” He says, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Peacemakers try to live at peace, but they also try to make peace in relationships that are broken and fight for peace in the world. 

I had a conversation after preaching a few weeks ago with someone struggling through a relationship with lots of conflict. They loved this other person, but there had been no communication for a while and they weren’t sure how to initiate it after such a long time. We came up with a little plan, covered the plan in prayer, and they set out to put it into action.

That’s peacemaking. 

Where is your peacemaking opportunity today? Maybe you have an opportunity to ask God for the grace to live more peaceably. Less combative, more kind. Less aggressive, more loving. Maybe  you have an opportunity to pursue peace. Maybe you need to apologize to someone, or initiate reconciliation. Maybe you have an opportunity to mediate peace between two friends. 

The children of God are champions of peace. Let’s remember the peace we’ve been given by God and pursue the peacemaking Jesus has called us to.

The Battle Continues

Talk Less. Listen More.