An old Korean saying goes, “A cornered stone meets the mason’s chisel.” If one’s personality makes others around him have troubles like a cornered stone, he may have many conflicts everywhere he goes and cause hard times for others. But if one has a good personality that makes harmony like a smooth rounded stone, he can get along with others well and maintain peace without conflicts. It is good to talk to such persons and people around them feel comfortable, which allows for them to have peace with others. They themselves also lead happy lives.
- Significance of Peacemaking
It is easy to find people having arguments and breaking peace. This is because they consider their own thoughts or opinions to be right. But it is only God who is good and right and the truth is the teaching of Jesus Christ who is one with the good God (John 14:6).
If men had been raised by the truth and lived only in the truth, they all would have the heart of the Lord and make peace with all men. However, we have learned from our parents, teachers, neighbors, and friends. Among their teachings, many things are against the truth. The speculations, mindset, and conscience made based on their teachings are different from person to person. That is why people cannot keep peace with others.
Therefore, we should discern between right and wrong according to the Word of God. Apostle Paul said, “More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8). Just as he said, only when we break the thought, ‘I am right’, and change by the Word of God, can we make peace.
It is said in Hebrews 12:14, “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord”. Matthew 5:9 also reads, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Thus, we should understand how important it is to make peace and that God cherishes peace.
- Suffering comes when peace is broken
If we accept Jesus Christ, change into men of the truth, serve and love one another, we can make peace. However, we can’t make peace if we insist that only our thoughts, our opinions, our reasoning and our ways are right. Moreover, we will personally suffer and cause pain to others. We can see this example through Abraham’s wife, Sarah.
When Abram (later called Abraham) was 75 years old, God promised to him a child. But Sarai (later Sarah) his wife, still during the following ten years she had still not born him a child. With impatience, Sarai gave her female servant, Hagar to him. Hagar became pregnant and despised Sarai. So, Sarai blamed Abram for it and treated Hagar so harshly that Hagar fled from Sarai’s presence. Hagar met the angel of God and returned to her master and gave birth to Ishmael. But he was not the son that God had promised to give Abram. God’s word was fulfilled 14 years after Ishmael was born.
At the age of 90, Sarah finally delivered a son named Isaac. When he was born, another problem arose. Ishmael mocked Isaac. Unable to allow for it to happen, Sarah told Abraham to drive out Ishmael and his mother, Hagar. The matter distressed Abraham greatly. God told him to send them out. Although he was not the son of the promise, how do you think Abraham felt!
Sarah couldn’t wait until God gave her a child and tried to solve the problem with human reasoning and method. As a consequence, a lot of trouble and pain followed.
Next, a similar situation occurred between Leah and Rachel, who were wives of Jacob. They were biological sisters, but they were jealous of each other’s receiving love from their husband. While Leah bore Jacob four children, Rachel was not able to bear any. So she gave her maid-servant to Jacob. Not to be out-done, Leah also gave her maid-servant to Jacob.
The relationships had a negative influence on their sons. Jacob gained twelve sons from the four wives. The eleventh son, Joseph, was the son of Rachel whom Jacob loved the most and he received all of his father’s love. Joseph was a nuisance to his brothers since he reported their wrongdoings to their father.
In the end, Joseph was sold into slavery to a foreign country by the hands of his stepbrothers. It shows us that insisting on oneself, feeling jealous and envious of others, and not living by the Word of God causes unhappiness. True happiness can be enjoyed only when we live in the truth.
- The way to gaining true happiness
Proverbs 16:7 reads, “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” It tells us that when we are in pain due to discord with someone we should please God. Then, God will allow us to make peace with him and solve all kinds of problems.
Solomon was one of the biblical figures who pleased God. He gave God a thousand burnt offerings in spirit and truth, which pleased God and established peace with God. It pleased God so much that he was able to receive wisdom that no one before him had possessed nor would possess. Also he received additional blessings like wealth and honor.
Esther was also one of such people who pleased God. She was a Jew and became the queen of the Persian Empire. She heard from Mordecai her cousin that her people were in a danger of total destruction due to Haman’s plot. Then, Esther first pleased God and then made peace between the king of Persia and her people the Jews. She prayed to God and fasted with all the Jews who were found in Susa the capital city for three days, without even drinking water. Prepared for death, she came before the king and appealed to him, and she found favor in the sight of the king. That is, God was pleased with Esther and worked in the situation for her to save her people.
Ruth was a Moabite woman who received blessings by pleasing God. She got married to a man of Israel, but, unfortunately, all the men in her family died. She could have just left her family to start a new life. But instead she served her mother-in-law, who was left alone. She did her duty as a daughter-in-law and served her with an unchanging heart. Since she pleased God, she later became the wife of a rich man in the region named Boaz, and gave birth to Obed. In doing so, she was blessed, for her name was to be included in the genealogy of David.
- To maintain peace with everything and receive blessings
Then, what should we do to have peace in everything and receive blessings?
Firstly, we long to listen to the Word of God and give worship services. Proverbs 8:17 reads, “I love those who love me; and those who diligently seek me will find me.” We can receive blessings from God when we love God, take delight in listening to His Word, diligently give worship services, pray, and praise.
Also, we should be righteous men who have clean hearts by obeying the Law of God. There are many things that God takes delight in, but the most pleasurable thing to Him is for us to cast off sins, become sanctified, and become truly righteous men and women.
Next, we should evangelize people with faith, practice goodness, and show virtuous generosity diligently. Then, God is pleased with faith accompanied by deeds and gives us blessings in return. Cornelius and Tabitha received blessings by giving alms to many Jewish people and by practicing goodness. Cornelius’ whole family received the Holy Spirit though he was a Gentile. And Tabitha was revived from death (Acts chapters 9 and 10).
Therefore, we should have peace in everything by pleasing God. First of all, we should have peace with God and then with God’s servants and with brothers and sisters in Christ. We should also make peace with parents, children, spouses, siblings, neighbors, friends, co-workers, bosses, subordinates, and all. Then, we can give out the fragrance of the Christ and become light and salt in the world.