I have been hearing this scripture a lot lately. Mostly because of the new ministry at church called Celebrate Recovery. But it has also been popping up in other places.
Lately I have been reading (when I get a chance) a book called 'Staying Positive in a Negative World: Attitudes that Enhance to Joy of Living' by Roger Campbell. So far, a pretty good book. There are a few things I would not agree with but overall good.
Chapter 6 is titled "Look for the best in others". At the end of the chapter he brings up scripture Matthew 5:9 and he asks the question "What does a peacemaker do?" He follows up with this answer:
"He forgets the gossip that he hears about others.
When the faults of his friend becomes the topic of discussion, he manuevers the conversation to another subject.
When he hears something negative about another, he doesn't feel its his duty to report what was said.
When he is approached by one of two of opposing odds, he refuses to let his ear become a dumping ground for criticism.
When he hears a complimentary comment about someone, he is eager to pass the good word along.
He is will to mediate between those who are in disagreement.
He understands about the weaknesses of all people but doesn't major on them.
He has learned to bridle his tongue (James 1:26)
He is swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath (James 1:19)"
I love this list of characteristics he gives to describe a peacemaker. Do you hold any of the characteristics?
The one that really stood out to me the most was 'When he hears a complimentary comment about someone, he is eager to pass the good word along.' That stuck out to me cause I do that. I love to do that. In fact, the person who taught me to do that is my cousin. (Thanks Jessica!) She mentioned a comment to me one day that she overheard her sisters say about me. She heard them say "Jill is really pretty!" and Jessica decided to tell me that. She said she tries to always make it a point to tell people when she hears a comment about them. And I thought 'What a great idea!' So since then, I have tried to make it a point to tell people when I hear compliments about them.
It never occurred to me, however, that this was a form a peacemaking. But it makes absolute sense. When I pass along those comments to the other person, both of us feel blessed. They feel blessed from the compliment and I feel blessed because I was able to put a smile on their face. It is also a blessing for the original person who gave the compliment because gratitude will more likely be shown upon them when they are seen again by that person. Three people being blessed in one swoop. How amazing and awesome is that?!? Spreading good news causes good feelings! Incredible!
Now if we could get the media to be more on board with spreading more positive then negative, we might start to see some radical changes! :)