9.23.14 8:40 am – Family room chair.
Lord, thank you for today’s devotion. Guide me to responsibly reflect on it as I move through the days work.
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
- Wretched are those who reject peace, for they will earn the title “Sons of Satan”.
Wow, the Unbeatitude is pretty harsh. I question myself here though. Why does being called a “son of Satan” make my skin crawl, but being called a “child of God” doesn’t have the opposite effect? I should rejoice that the Father has lavished me with love that I can be called child of God (1 Jn 3:1)!
Instead of focusing on what I want to be, I seem to be focusing on what I don’t want to be. It is an attitude of; as long as I am not a son of Satan I’m good. But am I really? It seems like the “at least I’m not as bad as…” argument. Truthfully, I don’t have to be as bad as Adolf Hitler or Mao Zedong, all that is required is that I don’t desire to be a child of God. If I don’t want that, then I have fallen into the enemy’s trap and am already a son of Satan.
I don’t think my lack of overwhelming enthusiasm in being God’s child is evidence of the opposite, but it could be the sign of walking a slippery slope, and that is a terrifying thought. I think I am scared more by the Unbeatitude because I know my own shortcomings. I don’t feel good enough to be God’s son. And I am not, nor will I ever be, on my own. As long as I desire to receive Christ I will receive Christ (can a repentant Christian ever commit apostasy? That perhaps, is a future entry and one I’m not prepared to discuss now). It is through Christ that God sees me. His sinlessness covers my sin. It is through Him that I am a child of God. Now, in one sense we are all God’s children being that he created us all, and that we are all image bearers of Him. But if this were the meaning of the phrase here, the first part of the Beatitude is irrelevant. Peacemaker or not, we would all be called children of God. I think perhaps the more appropriate way of looking at it is that it is the children share the Father’s will, and who live in and inherit the His kingdom.
I think a peacemaker is someone who actively seeks out peace. Someone who actively seeks to end conflict and suffering. Anyone can outwardly do that, but I feel it is the inner motives that are key. When I seek to make peace it should be because, as an image bearer of God, I am reflecting his attributes toward other image bearers of God, anything less is arrogant and self-righteous. Anything less is making peace for my own benefit, maybe because I am annoyed with the fighting or afraid something I want will get lost in the cross-fire. I cannot know the Father apart from the Son, and in order to clearly reflect God I need to be untarnished.
Sin is like dirt on a mirror, causing the reflection to be clouded. I can take my hand and try to clean it, but my actions alone just smear the dirt around. Jesus, in this image would be like a power washer filled with Windex. It is only through Christ that I can clearly reflect God’s image. I can only make peace if I know what peace is. I can only know the will of the Father through the sacrifice of the Son, and it is through the sacrifice of the Son that God sees me as his child to work out his will.
I feel like there is more to develop here. I might take tomorrow to continue thinking about this Beatitude.
Thank you Lord, for challenging me to think about these beatitudes. I ask that you help me to uncover any clouded area in my thought, and help me to clearly understand and communicate this. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!