The Reformation Herald Online Edition

The Patience of the Saints

Making a Peaceful Picture
Making a Peaceful Picture

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9).

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded” (James 1:8; 4:8).

One of the saddest sights that a person may behold is that of children suffering amid the ravages of war. When men go to battle, everyone loses, especially the youngest and weakest members of the human family. Have you ever seen pictures of such a scene? It makes us want to do everything we can to help. Sometimes, beyond simply praying, it’s not so easy to relieve much of the suffering in faraway places. But one thing we can do to make the world a better place is to avoid even the slightest break in harmony with others around us, as far as possible. War starts with anger, a condition of the heart. The Bible bids us “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled” (Hebrews 12:14, 15).

Do you know what a root of bitterness is? A root is something that grows underneath the surface of the ground, and it nourishes the whole plant. Often a plant may have beautiful leaves, but if the root system is unhealthy, the whole plant may suddenly wither away and die rather quickly.

Similarly, a root of bitterness can grow in a person’s heart by allowing one’s self to become angry at somebody. It may even happen over a small, silly matter. This root then grows bigger and bigger until it ends up coming to the surface and spreading to other people in an ugly way. It may reveal itself by gossip against the one who—maybe even unconsciously or accidentally —caused the offense. That’s why God warns us against letting anger sprout in our heart. It is sinful to allow such roots of bitterness to form.

In Isaiah 9:6, Jesus is referred to as “The Prince of Peace.”

He is the author of peace. And the peace that He brings is not only for grown-ups. His promise to the faithful is that “All thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the

peace of thy children” (Isaiah 54:13).

But there’s more. Jesus calls us not only to be peaceable ourselves but actually to be peace “makers.” Most children enjoy making things. You may like to make bread or cookies, or art projects, or sand castles. God has placed in human hearts the desire to make things—to create them—because we are made in our Creator’s own image. So, when He pronounces a blessing on the peacemakers, He is inspiring us also to do whatever we can to help our friends, family, and neighbors get along with one another, too.

“Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another” (Romans 14:19). To edify others is to build them up spiritually, just as you would add bricks in making a building. And such a picture of kindness is one of the happiest sights a person can behold.—BHM.