| Rebels With A Cause
“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies,
do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you,
pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28).
Even when we say, “I forgive you,” many of us have a difficult time not thinking about what others have done to hurt us… It is very difficult simply to stop thinking about an unpleasant experience. Instead, we must replace negative thoughts and memories with positive ones… Every time you begin to dwell on or brood over what someone else has done, ask for God’s help and deliberately pray for that person or think of something about the offender that is “true, noble, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy.”
Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 220-221
Food for Thought
Would people describe you as rebellious? If so, in what way? If not, why?
Rebel is not the way most believers would describe themselves these days. It’s just a stone’s throw from rebellious, and we surely wouldn’t want to lean in that direction. But even a cursory reading of Jesus’ words show just how rebellious the Christian life is. He tells us to go totally cross-grain to the way of this world — do the counterintuitive thing. So put on your James Dean jacket, slick your hair back, re-read Jesus’ words and let’s redeem the wordrebel. But remember our cause — reconciliation with God.
Ken’s encouragement to use the replacement principle is exactly what Jesus is referring to in Luke 6. Instead of hating those who hate you — negate the hate with doing good. When you want to curse those who are cursing you, rearrange your four-letter words so that they spell bless. And all those who mistreat you? Replace your “I’m gonna’ gitcha'” scheme with “Lord, have mercy.” But be warned — people don’t like rebels, and they usually want to make them go away. This kind of godly rebelliousness may leave your James Dean jacket in shreds, your hair may lose all its slick, and it just might get you persecuted. There’s a pretty good precedent for that. But remember our cause — the peace of God. God’s true rebels are not necessarily the popular and successful, but the hated, cursed and mistreated; those who stay true to the cause no matter what. And the cause is peace. Peace has a face (and it’s not James Dean’s). “For he himself is our peace” (Ephesians 2.14) — Jesus himself replaces justice with mercy and condemnation with freedom. What a rebel!
2008 Peacemaker Conference – Just 1 Week Away!
As we look to the 2008 Peacemaker Conference, the storms of life remind us just how much we, as the church, need to be equipped to handle the storms of life and to offer light and hope to others. By standing on the Rock of Jesus Christ, we can experience “The Power of a Peacemaking Church.”
At the conference we will explore the various spheres of life touched by storms—in our homes, in our communities, cross-culturally, and in our churches—and see how God’s Word applies in each situation. Peacemaking can be a way of life, and we can each be encouraged by the wisdom of others who have weathered many storms!
It’s not too late to come, particularly for those within driving distance of Orlando! We welcome walk-ins on all days of the conference.
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