“Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:18 (NIV)
The Bible never asks us to run from conflict (although we may feel like it), but to try to resolve conflict. We are not called to be peacekeepers, but peacemakers. There’s a big difference between those two terms. Peacekeepers might run from conflict or avoid conflict. Peacemakers face conflict and try to reconcile relationships.
According to James 3:18 peacemakers sow peace and reap righteousness which is a beautiful promise to behold. When you sow a seed, you always get back more than you sow. If one sows a seed of conflict, you will reap more conflict. But, if one sows a seed of peace, you will reap more peace and more goodness in return.
So how can we practice sowing peace? Let me suggest three ways.
1) Take the initiative. If you’re in conflict with someone, you make the first move. Don’t wait for them to come to you. Be intentional about sowing seeds of peace.
2) Ask God for wisdom. The context of James 3:18 is seeking wisdom that comes from above. God is always ready to provide his wisdom to us. According to James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” Ask God to change your attitude, ask God to help you say the right thing the right way, ask God to help you decide the right place and the right plan for your peace meeting. This best way to sow peace to do so with God’s wisdom.
3) Start with your own confession. Don’t start your peace meeting with accusations or the ways you have been hurt. That’s not godly wisdom. Start with what is your fault and with your own confession. Most people believe that conflict is all the other persons fault. But conflict is a two-way street. Sowing seeds of peace means taking responsibility for your part of the conflict. If you will start with your own confession, it will set the tone for the rest of your peace meeting. You will reap a harvest of righteousness and peace.
Finally, let’s remember the words of Jesus, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9).