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Peacemakers or troublemakers

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Peacemakers or troublemakers

The Old Testament

‘The man said, The woman you put here with me - she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it. Then the Lord God said to the woman, What is this you have done? The woman said, The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’ (Gen. 1:12-13).

The Bible presents a record of a long human history of interpersonal relationships. Adam and Eve, the first married couple, had a disagreement about the reasons for their sin in the Garden of Eden.

Two sons of Adam and Eve had a disagreement that led to murder. Then, as the population multiplied, the earth was filled with hostility. A few years after the flood, herdsmen of Abram and Lot were fighting severely. There were many family disputes, and a whole succession of wars continued throughout the Old Testament history.

The New Testament

The disciples of the Lord Jesus argued among themselves about who would be the greatest in heaven: ‘At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ (Matt. 18:14).

In the early church, Ananias and Sapphira lied to their fellow believers. The Jews and Greeks were at odds with each other, and there were disputes over doctrine.

Many times in his Epistles, the Apostle Paul commented on the disunity of the church and asked for peace. In his own missionary activities he was concerned about conflicts, and on one occasion he wrote to the Corinthians expressing the fear that if he came to visit he might find: debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults…’ (1 Cor. 12:20). There was much confusion and other proofs of interpersonal tension and sin.

Are you a peacemaker or a troublemaker?

The Apostle Paul warned Timothy not to be quarrelsome, especially over unimportant things. He ‘must not be quarrelsome…’ (2 Tim. 2:24). Timothy should not be kind of person who is always fighting over something or other. Other Bible passages offer instructions to live in harmony, to demonstrate love, and to replace bitterness and wrath with kindness, forgiveness, and compassionate actions.

After a warning against those who cause trouble because they do not control their tongues, James notes that quarrels and conflicts come because of personal lust and envy. Then in the midst of an exciting list of practical guidelines for living, we read the Apostle Paul’s instructions to avoid revenge: ‘Do not repay anyone evil for evil!’ (Rom. 12:17).

The Lord Jesus and the biblical writers were peacemakers who, by their example and exhortation, expected believers to be peacemakers: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.’ (Matt. 5:9).

Dr. Czeslaw Bassara ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; www.proword.eu)

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