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Folks surely are a cranky lot. I don’t think I ever remember such joy found in jabbing people, harassing folks on the internet, hostile responses on Facebook, belligerence in public arenas, and a genuine sense of accomplishment when one person feels they have successfully spoken a derogatory word that has inflicted great pain on another person.

It hasn’t always been at this fevered pitch.  No doubt, social media has fomented lots of belligerence between those that disagree.  Talk shows relentlessly publish their viewpoints to show how very messed up “those other people” are. Races are pitted against each other.  Economic stats to show the great divide between the wealthy from the rest of us and are touted to be totally unacceptable. Workers are often on strike against management.  The needy are in the streets proclaiming that they should be getting more “free” stuff. Students picket their schools for various reasons.  Everybody fusses about the government. Road rage can get you killed just going home. Abuse lines stay busy with people calling for fear they are become a statistic of home violence. You know all of that.  It is pandemic.

The words of Jesus sound almost comical in such a violent age.  Jesus said, “Blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called the children of God.”  Have you had the chance to bring two sides who were at odds together in a healthy reunion and away from animosity and hostility?  Then you are a peacemaker.  Did you break up a verbal war and encourage two people to settle their differences and cease from such ugliness?  Then you are a peace maker.  We don’t have masses of them, but thank God, we do have some that seek to bring peace to others and leave peace in their wake.

The Chinese have a proverb which says, “If you talk with a soft voice, you do not need a thick stick.” If any man desires to live peaceably, this proverb shows the way. The fighting man seldom lacks antagonists. If we carry the big stick, it is sure to be flourished, and it means that other big sticks will appear, with no end of a row in prospect. The man who persists in carrying a gun is sure to pull it sooner or later. 

But the soft word has no recoil. It never seems to challenge the other fellow to a fight. In fact, it makes him rather ashamed of his fiery speech and combative attitude. Miles Standish was willing to fight, and he had plenty of chances; William Penn would not fight, and the Indians who fought Standish so fiercely had no quarrel at all with Penn. War begets war: peace produces peace. 

If you want to make friends with a cross dog, don’t stir him up with a stick.  (Copied).

Hebrews 12:14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.   Phil.4:7 – And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.