Part 2 – Blessed are the Peacemakers

 

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

 

Shalom Aleichem (Wait for Response)

 

So last week we spoke about the fact that being a peace maker is not only important to us, but that it is very important to God.

 

We’ve got Nobel Peace Prizes,

 

Peace Signs,

 

Doves being released at international events,

 

And for at least a quarter of the world the first thing they say to one another is “Peace be upon you” or (Wait)

Shalom Aleichem

 

We talked about an idea put for by Paul to the Philippians that being peace with one another as a Church is the first step to attracting others to our faith.

 

We as a people must be humble.

 

We must be gentle and inviting.

We must be encouraging to each other because it is all of us that people will look upon as the Kingdom of God.

 

This week we are going to look at some more of this plan for being peace makers.

 

Matthew 7:3 – 5  “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Why does this even need to be said?

How is it possible to have a glaring deficiency-a log in our eye-and not know it?

Last week I told myself about that fact that I thought the answer to getting my German Shepherd (Nickel) to come back into the yard was to scream and yell at him while chasing after him. Then once he complied to beat on him for being a bad dog.

What did I think was happening at those moments?

I’m communicating my disapproval and I am making sure that he knew who the alpha dog was and that I would be complied with.

There would be compliance or there would be consequences.  

I was enforcing my will…

What could possibly be the problem here?

Well what Jesus is telling us is that even if we don’t see the flaw that we have other do and until we fix that flaw we will continue to chase the problem around the neighborhood.

We spoke last week about the fact that the solution was about gentleness and humility, but we did not talk about that fact that as lest part of the problem was me.

Who left the gate open?

Who taught Nickel that by returning to me he was returning to pain?

Who has taught many of the families that come to Church that part of going to Church is facing the judgment of flawed people trying to justify their own existence?

The Churches and their people.

Who has taught our coworkers that the people that go to Church with us are doing it all wrong? Wrong music, judgmental people, wrong doctrine, wrong communion, wrong pastor, wrong building…

We have?

Who has taught the people of the world that the imperfect people of God will expect nothing short of perfection?

The people of the Church.

Do you know people who have glaring deficiencies and don’t know it?

Is it possible that we, the people in this room, have logs in our eyes? Is it possible, no matter how remotely, that we have glaring deficiencies that are obvious to everyone in our life and we don’t know it?

Of course it is.

You see the first step to dealing with this Log in the Eye issue is the humility and gentleness we learned last week.

But the next step is removing the log.

 

How do we discover the logs in our eyes?

You see for me the problem of angry loud correction was systemic.

I have already told you that I had a real issue with yelling loudly at family to get my point across. 

But now the whole dog thing…

Boy Pastor you were a jerk.  Yup…

That is funny to say and all, but really for the most part I was the same guy you know now. But every now and then this plank would protrude from my eye.

The hulk would come out.

For me the solution was family intervention and a TV show about handling dogs.


Broken down:

I had in intervention from people I loved

I took a moment to evaluate what I was doing and why it wasn’t working.

 

Could that approach work for you?

Because the real big step in all of that was admitting that what I was doing was not working.

Let’s talk about the temptation to take the speck out of a neighbor’s eye. What is this temptation about?

What is so much fun about speck removing?

Let’s look at what Jesus said and see if we can find an answer.

 

Matthew 7:3 – 5  “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Jesus is telling us that this plank can also keep us from seeing the plank.

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye

Well I got anger management issues, but I care about my dog… Unlike those people who let their dog run all over town.

Well I may not pay my bills on time, but you know those people don’t dress their kids right. They are little rag-a-muffins. And he has a new car.

Well I may gossip all the time, but those guys never go to Sunday School.

It is nice to not think about our own plank for a while isn’t it?

I’m bad, but not that bad.

Do you have people in your life that are always trying to straighten you out-always trying to remove the speck from your eye?

How does it make you feel?

Remember Nickel?

He would run from me instead of coming to me.

It did not matter how right I was.

Would anyone confess a tendency that you have to want to remove the specks from other’s lives?

OK, come on… Let’s be honest. Sometimes taking a speck out of our neighbor’s eye is a good thing, Right?

How can we “remove the speck”?

How can we point out the failings of a friend in a way that they will respond positively?

Turn it around the other way. Is it to our benefit to be people who allow others to help us remove our speck?

Are you open to the correction of a friend?

 

Jesus tells is to: first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

If we will first admit that we are flawed then what we have done is removed that plank from our eye.

The plank in this case refers to the problem of not admitting that we have problems and judging the problems of others from the perspective.

Jesus doesn’t say that you will never again have a speck in your eye. That is not the problem.

The plank is the ego that will not submit.

The plank is the ego that will not humble itself before the one who has the issue.

The removal of this plank is the act of removing your ego and devoting yourself to the service of others.

Instead of: Well I got anger management issues, but I care about my dog… Unlike those people who let their dog run all over town.

Let us say: Hey neighbor. I am having a real problem with how to manange my dog and I heard about this new class at Pets-R-us. would you be interested in going with me.

Instead of: Well I may not pay my bills on time, but you know those people don’t dress their kids right. They are little rag-a-muffins. And he has a new car.

Let us say: Hey neighbor. I have been really having a hard time with making ends meet. My church is having a money management course and I am embarrassed to go alone. Would you consider going with me?

Instead of: Well I may gossip all the time, but those guys never go to Sunday School.

Let us say: You know Jim, we have really been wanting to get to know you guys better. I am so sorry we haven’t just come and talked to you. But we’ll just make stuff up to fill in the gaps.

Ha, Ha

Or better yet, we would sure like to go to lunch with you guys after church.

Removing your plank is removing your ego and replacing it with community with the heart of a servant.

Removing you plank it looking a God solution to the problem of our sin. He did not choose to destroy us. Instead He lowered Himself to us to show us His example.

He came to walk our sod

He came to be hungry and tired

He came eat with us and drink with us

He touched our skin and felt for us

He did not come to accuse of anything other than accusing each other.

 

The next time you see a speck..

Remove your ego

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About toddcbrown

The body of Christ will never grow if the Pastor is the one using his gifts to MAKE IT grow through some cool program or inspiring turn of a phrase.
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