Beside the Well
James 3:18 “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”
I am still struck with the correlation between the days of Jeremiah Burroughs and our own. Truly, man has not changed! He constantly needs instruction. As Reverend Burroughs addresses his congregation on the subject Blessed are the Peacemakers, he moves from the philosophy of wider society into the home and the neighborhood. I’m afraid we, too, are still in need of these admonitions.
Let me list them for you. Here are his rules for peace in the family.
1. Be considerate – consider the pressures and temper of others as you approach them with requests and comments.
2. Choose carefully the time to address grievances. (Never poke a sleeping bear.)
3. Address incidences individually. Not everything is wrong or displeasing. Look for and remember positives and your goal of peace.
4. Motivate obedience out of love rather than fear.
5. Address infractions from love and concern instead of anger.
And here are his rules for peace in the church and community.
1. Do not entertain gossip.
2. Do not be quick to judge.
3. Do not fall out with others before you have gone to God in prayer.
4. Use private means of reconciliation before public ones. (Matthew 18)
5. Work together in love.
6. Put the rights of others first. Be willing to deny yourself.
7. Avoid envy – do good yourself and rejoice to see others succeeding.
8. Strive to create a community where issues can be discussed and resolved amicably.
All these rules can be supported with Scripture. They are basic to Christian living and success in life. However, we are often negligent in applying them.
I don’t know about you, but I love a peaceful home. The joy and rest that comes from living in a peaceful haven cannot be valued too highly. One of my favorite verses on the building and beauty of the home is found in Proverbs 24:3-4. “Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”
A peaceful home doesn’t happen except the members follow the rules about how to make peace. And a peaceful community is the same. Oh, for more peacemakers in our homes, communities, and our churches.