Playing Nice

Christians are a people called to peace; why then are we so contentious? We quarrel with the world when it rejects us, we quarrel with each other when we disagree. What is it that draws in us a need to defend ourselves, leaving love and grace behind? Reading around the blogosphere, I am surprised by how much energy is used exploring arguments.

When confronted we take action, but how we act is a reflection of our faith. Jesus is not asking us to passively avoid an argument; He asks that we actively seek reconciliation.

"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles." (Matthew 5:38-41 NIV)
How is this done? With love and prayer; with a mindset on being holy.
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48 NIV)
When we confront those that oppose us, we are defending our pride. It is the easy response. Humility takes work and patience, yet the rewards are eternal.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2 NIV)
My hope is that we may become wise in the Lord, rejoicing in unity of the great gift of grace; allowing ourselves to decrease so that Jesus may increase.

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