Friday, July 15, 2011

Lessons from Philemon

I recently had the privilege of preaching Sunday night at my church. So, I thought I would condense down my sermon notes for a new blog entry.

Peacemaking is a messy business. It's not the easiest task to restore a relationship between two people or between yourself and someone else. But Paul gives us a few key elements for effective peacemaking in his letter to Philemon.

1) Prayer: We must pray regularly for the situation and the people involved. And we should pray for blessings for the individuals involved.
2) Praise: We need to look for positive strengths in the lives of others. And let them know they are doing a good job in these areas. But make sure your praise isn't mere flattery.
3) Petition: Know what it is that you want the other person to do to help accomplish peace. If you don't have something personal and specific to ask, consider postponing the reconciliation just a bit.
4) Partner: Be willing to get involved in the lives of others...even if it gets messy and takes up your time.
5) Pledge: Sacrifices may be needed to ensure a renewed relationship. Are you willing to cover any debts or pay some costs in order to have peace restored?
6) Prompting: Prepare others to carry out your requests. Expect them to do more than what you've asked. And remember to follow-up later on to see how things are.

It may not be an easy task, be Jesus promised us in Matthew 5:9 that "blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." That's a reward worth getting messy for!!

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