The Difference One Can Make – Waging Peace
Key Bible Verse: Now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers became afraid. “Now Joseph will pay us back,” … they said. – Genesis 50:15
Bonus Reading: Genesis 50:14-21
William Rodriguez, a kickboxing champion as well as a black belt in karate, knew how to fight and win.
Even so, when gang members killed his son, Rodriguez refused to respond violently. Instead of seeking revenge, he sought a just and lasting reconciliation.
After learning that one of his son’s convicted killers was wrongly sentenced, Rodriguez asked the judge for mercy on the young man. “I just believed it was the right thing to do. That’s my faith,” he recalled.
As a result of involvement in his son’s murder trial, Rodriguez began to orchestrate peace treaties among warring gangs. The kick-boxer spoke to feuding groups about living for the future rather than in bondage to the past.
Seeing that Rodriguez was living that message, many gang members listened. Soon, to his own surprise, Rodriguez was hosting reconciliation meetings.
Rodriguez’s peacemaking illustrates human beings’ overarching vocation as followers of Jesus Christ.
Just as God cares for His entire universe, we’re called to be caretakers of His world. God calls us to love Jesus by caring for and about our neighbor, participating in Christ’s renewal of all things.
—Quentin Schultze in Here I Am
My Response: In what situation should I respond compassionately instead of instinctively protecting my status?
Thought to Apply: It is idle for us to say that we know that God has forgiven us if we are not loving and forgiving ourselves.—D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Welsh preacher)
Adapted from Here I Am (Baker, 2005)