Are You a Peacemaker: How to Choose Unity Over Division is a Guest Post Written by Stacie Cherill Dickson
I am a very passionate person.
I love people so much and want to see them live their best life in Christ.
Although my zeal is wonderful, sometimes I have found myself pushing my own personal convictions on others in a harsh way. There is a fine line to tread of sharing your beliefs as in invitation versus forcing someone to believe like you.
Well that’s Debatable…
Although there are core beliefs I think all Christians should uphold, we have many denominations across our faith due to different personal convictions. I have learned not to debate. And I love a good debate… sometimes to my detriment.Stacie loves a good debate… but that's not always a good thing. Click To Tweet
I found myself over the years getting into heated debates with family members (who are Christians) over ‘gray areas’ per say in the Bible. My father is a pastor who loves Jesus who led me to Christ at a young age, but one day three years ago after we had a yummy breakfast together, I found myself screaming at him in the car ride home.
Why did our mood go from a happy daughter/daddy date to a screaming match with just me yelling?
Over the interpretation of a Bible verse.
I Wasn’t Being a Peacemaker
So, I was yelling at my sweet father who just bought me breakfast because we disagreed on the interpretation of a Scripture. *facepalm* I know, not my best moment. The Bible is all about love and even mentions honoring your parents, but I was riddled with pride.
Pride is such a sneaky sin because you don’t even know you have it sometimes. You tend to think you are so much smarter than others and that everyone has to agree with your beliefs. Jesus Himself doesn’t even force people to believe in Him so why should I?
If a fellow Christian has a certain viewpoint on something that I disagree with, is it truly loving my brother or sister by bullying them into believing that my views are better?
Be a Peacemaker
We are called to be peacemakers and to have a gentle spirit. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” Matthew 5:9 (NIV).
We are called to esteem others above ourselves, allowing them their own viewpoint even if you don’t agree.
Each person comes from a different background and has different life experiences so the lens that they view the world is different than yours.
The Seed of Truth
“Don’t destroy your seed.”
What does that mean?
The Bible talks about how we plant seeds into people, which are ideas, as I like to view them.
So what if your opinion is the truth, but you belittle that person for their viewpoint?
People remember how you made them feel and if you made them feel sad (and I’m not talking about the sadness that comes from conviction) they will never want to open up to you again or even hear the gospel from you. You will close that door to them as a witness.
But if you approach that person with meekness and understanding you will make them feel seen and respected as a human being. Love not only plants a seed but makes it grow.
Roots of Humility
When you have opinions rooted in humility it makes it easier if you somehow have a change of opinion in the future.
For example, I went vegan in 2015. At first I was very strict and passionate about it. I was reading all the vegan books and watching all the vegan YouTube channels. I even started to ask God in my mind, ‘why aren’t Christians honoring their body by being vegan? If they really loved You and Your creation they would be vegan!’
Instead of going to my loved ones and condemning them for not being vegan assuming they love God less because they ate meat, I just surrendered that feeling to God and invited my family to share some of the vegan food I made. Now, was this temptation to go on a tirade to get my parents to eat healthier because I wanted them to live longer there? Yes! But the Holy Spirit was telling me it was not my right to force anyone to eat vegan because that was my own conviction and that eating that way wasn’t the only ‘right way’ to eat.
That revelation gave me peace.
So, when I stopped being vegan years later because I missed eating all food groups and I was having certain nutritional deficiencies because of it, it was easier for me to leave veganism because I didn’t burn bridges with my loved ones all for the sake of crusading to make everyone vegan.
Be a Peacemaker
To conclude, I have learned that although my passion to see people live their best life is wonderful, people have the freedom to live their life the best way they see fit, and not the way I see fit for them.
Even if your loved one is in a sin that you know is to their detriment it’s not your place to force them to change, it will only cause division. Speak truth to them once if led and leave the rest to God in prayer.
Let your life be the biggest light!
Lead by example which truly means live a life submitted to Christ. It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict and our job to love. Let us be a people known for our love.
I’ve found that letting go of the burden I placed on myself to change people has truly given me so much freedom and joy. I’m just a mere human still learning how to walk this life out, so changing another human being is truly a job I will leave up to God.
Join the Conversation
Thanks for reading my story about being a peacemaker. I would love to hear if you ever went through something similar. You can join the conversation in the comments below.
About the Author
Stacie Cherill Dickson is a lover of Jesus, travel & laughter. She is a filmmaker, writer & performer. She loves encouraging people through media . Stacie does mission work around the world but calls Texas home. You can find her stargazing and visiting the beach in her free time . Visit her at www.staciecherill.com