Live at Peace

Author: Jill WargoRidge Kids Director
Through Thick & Thin - Part 4
As a previous first-grade teacher and now as the Ridge Kids director, I find myself reflecting on the moments I’ve mediated conflicts between kids. Fights that involved the lack of sharing. Fights that involved name-calling. Fights that, at times, even involved hitting. 

Growing up, I remember my friends being told, “If someone hits you, you hit back!.” I even encountered this statement as a teacher when I was mediating a fight. “Why did you hit them?” “Well, they hit me first, and I was told to hit back when someone hits me.” Kids are listening to what they are advised to do in a conflicting situation. But what if the next generation listened to what Tim shared and, even more, what God is telling us?
“You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I tell you, don’t resist an evildoer. On the contrary, if anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” 
—Matthew 5:38-39
What if the next generation stopped and tried to make things right? What if they were quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger? Unfortunately, even as we grow up, we don’t change how we handle conflict. We still retaliate like when we were kids on the playground. 

It can be challenging to be a peacemaker. We are no longer battling other adults over the last blue crayon in the crayon box. Our problems can be much larger than this. Our problems involve family, finances, friendship, and more. Even though our retaliation might not be physical, we still tend to “hit back” with our words and thoughts.

If you are in the midst of conflict, maybe God is asking you to be a peacemaker.

What if instead of continuing to perpetuate the cycle of outrage, we instead followed Christ’s words and chose to be the sermon on the mount and be the example of meekness to all? What might the future of our world look like?
 
Our world may seem to be getting darker and darker as the years go on. But I strongly believe that we can end this cycle, and the next generation can change the course by our example; they can be the light in the darkness. If you are in the midst of conflict, maybe God is asking you to be a peacemaker. When you pray for resolution or open eyes, God might not send another person to resolve the conflict. He might be calling you to be that peacemaker.
"Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Try to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes. If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone."
—Romans 12:17-18
I challenge you to ask yourself, am I willing to overcome evil with good when I am wronged? Am I willing to show the next generation how to be the light in the darkness?

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