Blessed are the Meek?

In his same Sermon on the Mount when Jesus said blessed are the peacemakers, he also said this: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5, NIV84) Later, Jesus would describe himself with the same term: “Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in […]

Peace: Step by Step

We live in a world of conflict…a world that thrives on conflict…that even loves it! Yet Jesus encouraged us: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.” How can we be peacemakers in today’s environment? It isn’t easy, which is why there are more peace fakers and peace breakers than […]

Peacemaking and Rebuke?

I don’t know about you, but several of Jesus’ commands to his disciples make me uncomfortable. Here’s one: “Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to […]

When Conflict Strikes

Job’s friend Eliphaz said: “…humans are born for trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.” (Job 5:7) And it often seems that trouble comes out of nowhere, doesn’t it? A spouse suggesting divorce. A pink slip with 20 minutes to clear out your desk. A call from the principal…or from jail. Even in church – […]

Growing through Conflict

“You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result—the survival of many people.” (Genesis 50:20) That’s the famous conclusion of Joseph’s story in Genesis. He said it to his brothers when they came down to Egypt and he revealed himself to them. Here’s how we often interpret it, […]

The Anatomy of Conflict

“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” (James 4:1) Conflict is the collision of differing desires – when someone wants his own way and someone else wants something different…and tension builds. Dr. David Cimbora of Biola University says there are several major differences in each […]

Loving the Unlovely

“But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:27–28) In our pursuit of “waging peace” – being peacemakers in a world of conflict – we eventually have to come to grips with […]

The Heart of Reconciliation

“Let all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.” (Ephesians 4:31–32) I can’t tell you how many people have come into my office over the years for prayer […]

A Disciple’s Response to the Impossible

When it was late in the day, and the crowd of people listening to Jesus were hungry, Jesus’ disciples suggested Jesus send them away for dinner. This exchange followed: “But he answered, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “That would take eight months of a man’s wages! Are we to go […]

Wall of Hostility

“For he is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility…He did this so that he might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross by which he put the hostility to death.” (Ephesians 2:14, 16, CSB) The English word “hostile” describes an enemy and comes […]