I read this interesting post the other day on Ben Sternke’s blog about People of Peace. It got me thinking. The “People of Peace” principle comes from Luke 9-10 where Jesus sends out his disciples. We recognise People of Peace as being those who serve, welcome, and listen to us.
In his post he talks about a key component to recognising a Person of Peace:
The specific key we’ve discovered to recognizing Persons of Peace is basically this: the willingness to risk meeting “Persons of Unpeace.”
For the full article you can click here. But in summary Sternke proposes if we’re not willing to risk the scorn of the world and if we are not prepared to die to self we’ll never know if the people we engage with are People of Peace or Unpeace.
The challenge within all this is to build relationships but to be honest and transparent about our faith to see whether people are truly open to Jesus, or if they just like us. Sternke says the disciples “weren’t sent out as undercover agents – there was nothing subtle about why they were in town”. It is only in risking rejection that the disciples were able to see if people accepted or rejected them, and therefore whether or not they accepted or rejected Jesus. The same is true for us.
We don’t always have to go in with a bold gospel proclamation but if we deny the gospel, hide the gospel, or soften the gospel we will never find out if anyone is a Person of Peace or not.
Sternke ends his post with this:
There is a line we must cross, a death we must die before we can see Persons of Peace. When we die to ourselves and embrace being identified as a “fool for Christ,” we will find Persons of Peace, and we’ll also find rejection and opposition, because you don’t get one without the other. The good news, though, is that if we embrace this and truly go out in Christ’s name, then it will be his authority that clothes us, and his power that protects us and flows through us.
So I’m wondering what your thoughts are on this? I suspect many of us, as followers of Jesus, have experienced a pendulum swing away from proclamation as we want to be more “relational” in our approach to sharing Jesus. Is that ok or have we just become “relational” rather than being relational people who share Jesus? Have we just become “silent” or “camouflaged” so we don’t look any different to the people around us? Do we need to be more transparent? Does this sound scary?!
posted by Anna