Have you made any New Year Resolutions? If not, might I make a suggestion? Personally I’m not a big fan of making resolutions because I’m not that good at self-improvement; on the other hand, I’m all for setting a goal and aiming to achieve it with God’s help. Over the last week or so, many people have wished me ‘a peaceful new year’, and it’s got me thinking how I might be proactive in making it peaceful. So here it is: my suggested resolution. This year, why not try being a peacemaker?
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9
Being a peacemaker is not something that comes naturally. People are not always easy to get along with and we get stressed and frustrated with the things others do. Have you ever stood in a long line at the supermarket and grumbled under your breath about how slow that checkout is today? Perhaps you just said it out loud. Not a good thing for a peacemaker to do. The better way would be to stay calm, pray about the situation and when it’s your turn to pay, say something nice to the cashier. How about that guy who cuts you up in traffic! He may not be the best driver out there and perhaps he should have his licence taken away. But maybe he was in a hurry to get home to his family or there was an emergency. You are a peacemaker. Pray for him to improve his driving skills, so he won’t do to someone else what he did to you.
There are a million examples of things that happen to us every day that we would rather do without. Remember, God put us in those situations for a reason. Perhaps he has a lesson He wants us to learn or maybe He‘s just grooming us for heaven. Whatever the case may be, He may not reveal the reason right away. He may want us to think about it for a while.
Peacemaking will take all the energy we can muster, so we must rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance. Spend time in prayer each day and stay in an attitude of prayer at all times. Read the Bible. It is our guidebook for living. We can’t know what God is saying to us, unless we are reading. The Holy Spirit is our helper. He is always there to nudge us in the right direction. Let’s look to Him whenever we feel the need to yell at someone or before we say something that might offend.
And may we all have a Happy – and Peaceful – New Year!