“There are two ways to look at other people: you are making war with them or making peace with them.”
This remark from a friend of mine has radically transformed the way I approach relationships. It's not my job to win an argument; it's my job to make peace. It is the job of all Christians to make peace. When we approach relationships this way, everything changes.
Jesus once remarked:
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9 LEB).
For Jesus, being a peacemaker was a mark of knowing God.
When people have the resources they need, they are able to have peace in their lives. When we create a job we are giving someone the financial sustainability they need and thus bringing about a type of peace.
When people have peace in their lives, they are more inclined to make peace with others. When a person moves from living day to day, fighting for survival, to sustainability, they see the full value and potential in maintaining that. Being at peace with others is one way that is maintained.
Helping someone starts a cycle. When we are helped by others, we naturally want to help others. If the helping is done right, holistic life transformation is at the end of this cycle and peace is a natural result.
In addition, when we bring order to someone’s life, they’re naturally interested in the source of the order—which is God’s work through us. (Even the Hebrew word for peace, shalom, finds its primary meaning in a sense of wholeness or completeness.) Thus, when a person finds order—through a sustainable job or having their basic needs met—they are much closer to finding Jesus than previously. This is especially the case when needs are met by an organization who promotes Jesus.
When we bring holistic transformation to a community, or even just jobs to a community, we are moving people closer to peace. And in moving them closer to peace, we are moving them closer to Jesus.
There is incredible power in peace—and in viewing every relationship as one that should be fueled by peace. Bring peace to someone today by donating to holistic community transformation.
(Thank you to Tass Saada of Seeds of Hope who inspired many of the ideas in this post; see his book Once an Arafat Man.)
(This is part of the "True Power" blog series.)