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I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of “What Would Jesus Do?” It’s a question that forces us to consider the actions of Jesus and how we can emulate his teachings in our own lives. One specific aspect that stands out to me is the idea of being a peacemaker. In a world filled with conflict and division, it’s crucial that we strive to bring peace and unity to our communities. This article explores the significance of being a peacemaker and how we can adopt this attribute in our daily interactions.

What Would Jesus Do? And Being A Peacemaker

What Would Jesus Do: Understanding the Concept

The phrase “What Would Jesus Do?” has become a popular catchphrase, often seen on bracelets, t-shirts, and other merchandise. But where did it come from, and what does it really mean? The origins of the WWJD movement can be traced back to a novel titled “In His Steps” by Charles M. Sheldon, published in 1896. In this novel, Sheldon explores the concept of living one’s life by asking the question, “What would Jesus do in this situation?” This thought-provoking question quickly gained popularity and was embraced by Christians as a way to guide their actions and decision-making.

The essence of the WWJD movement lies in the belief that as followers of Christ, we should strive to live our lives in a manner that aligns with the teachings and example of Jesus. It encourages us to consider how Jesus would respond to different situations and challenges, and then seek to emulate His actions and attitudes. In essence, it is a call to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and make choices that reflect His love, compassion, and righteousness.

The WWJD philosophy finds its biblical foundation in the teachings of Jesus Himself. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus provides us with numerous examples of how we should live our lives and interact with others. He teaches us to love our neighbors as ourselves, to treat others with kindness and respect, to forgive those who have wronged us, and to seek reconciliation and peace. It is from these teachings that the WWJD movement draws inspiration, urging us to constantly consider what Jesus would do in our own lives.

Jesus: The Icon of Peace

One of the most significant aspects of Jesus’ teachings is His emphasis on peace. Jesus repeatedly speaks of peace and calls His followers to be peacemakers. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus declares, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). This simple statement encapsulates the importance Jesus placed on peace and the role of peacemakers in God’s kingdom.

Jesus not only spoke about peace but also actively demonstrated it through His actions. He calmed storms, healed the sick, and even forgave those who crucified Him. Jesus showed that true peace comes from a heart that is willing to love and forgive, even in the face of adversity. His example challenges us to examine how we can bring peace into our own lives and the world around us.

What Would Jesus Do? And Being A Peacemaker

Role of a Peacemaker: A Deeper Look

To truly understand the WWJD movement, it is essential to grasp the concept of being a peacemaker. A peacemaker is someone who actively works towards resolving conflicts and promoting harmony. This role holds great significance within Christianity, as Jesus Himself declared, “Blessed are the peacemakers.”

The biblical relevance of peacemaking can be traced back to the Old Testament, where the Hebrew word “shalom” is commonly used to describe peace. Shalom encompasses much more than the absence of conflict; it represents a state of wholeness, completeness, and overall well-being. As believers, we are called to pursue shalom in our relationships with others and in the world around us.

The traits and characteristics of a peacemaker align closely with the fruit of the Spirit that Paul writes about in Galatians 5:22-23. A peacemaker exemplifies love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These qualities enable individuals to navigate conflicts with humility, wisdom, and a desire for reconciliation.

Jesus as a Peacemaker: Biblical Evidences

When we examine the life of Jesus, it becomes evident that He fully embodied the role of a peacemaker. Throughout the Gospels, we witness numerous instances where Jesus exercises peacemaking in various forms. In His interactions with both individuals and crowds, Jesus consistently displays attitudes and actions of peace.

Jesus’ teachings and parables often touch on subjects like forgiveness, unity, humility, and love for enemies. Through these teachings, He challenges His followers to transcend their natural inclinations and respond to conflict with grace and compassion. For instance, in the parable of the prodigal son, Jesus portrays a father who forgives his wayward son, demonstrating the transformative power of forgiveness and reconciliation.

When faced with conflicts, Jesus employs a range of strategies to promote peace. He engages in compassionate dialogue, offers wise counsel, and ultimately seeks understanding and reconciliation. Jesus’ approach to conflict resolution serves as a model for us today, inspiring us to pursue peaceful resolutions in our own relationships and communities.

What Would Jesus Do? And Being A Peacemaker

Application of WWJD Approach to Peacemaking

While the WWJD movement gained popularity primarily in the late 20th century, its application to peacemaking is timeless. Implementing a WWJD approach to conflict resolution involves constantly asking ourselves how Jesus would respond in a given situation and then seeking to emulate His actions.

The importance of the WWJD mindset in peace-building cannot be overstated. It challenges us to set aside our own desires, biases, and prejudices and to instead focus on the values and teachings of Jesus. It requires us to approach conflicts with humility and a genuine desire for reconciliation. By applying the principles of love, forgiveness, and understanding that Jesus taught, we can contribute to the healing and restoration of broken relationships.

The WWJD concept serves as a road map to becoming a peacemaker. It helps us navigate complex and challenging situations by reminding us to prioritize love, empathy, and understanding. Embracing this approach requires a willingness to let go of our pride, ego, and desire for control. It invites us to view conflict as an opportunity for growth and transformation, both individually and collectively.

WWJD and Peacemaking: Contemporary Relevance

In today’s increasingly divided society, the WWJD philosophy remains as relevant as ever. It offers a framework for navigating social and political issues with grace and compassion. By asking ourselves what Jesus would do in various situations, we are prompted to seek common ground, promote justice, and extend love and understanding to all.

The WWJD philosophy challenges us to examine our own biases and prejudices and to actively work towards dismantling barriers that divide us. It calls us to respond to disagreements and conflicts with a heart-oriented towards reconciliation and unity. In a world characterized by polarization and hostility, the WWJD mindset provides an alternative approach that fosters peace and understanding.

By embracing the WWJD philosophy, we can find guidance in responding to current social and political issues. It encourages us to educate ourselves on the complexities of these matters, to engage in respectful dialogue, and to advocate for justice and equality. The WWJD approach empowers us to make a positive impact on the world by living out the values and teachings of Jesus.

Examining the Challenges of WWJD-based Peacemaking

While the WWJD movement has inspired many to pursue peacemaking, it is not without its challenges. One potential obstacle in applying WWJD to peacemaking is the complexity of moral and ethical issues that we face today. The world is filled with intricate problems that require careful analysis and consideration, and the WWJD approach may not always provide clear-cut solutions.

Additionally, critics argue that the WWJD movement oversimplifies complex moral and ethical issues. They contend that reducing complex problems to a simple question may undermine the need for critical thinking and nuanced analysis. Critics also point out that what Jesus would have done in ancient times may not necessarily be applicable to the challenges we face in the modern world.

Despite these challenges, the WWJD approach remains a valuable tool for peacemaking. While it may not provide a definitive answer to every situation, it invites us to reflect on our own actions and attitudes in light of Jesus’ teachings. It challenges us to pursue peace and reconciliation, even in the face of uncertainty and disagreement.

WWJD: A Call to Action

Turning the WWJD philosophy from a slogan to a lifestyle requires intentional action. It entails integrating the principles and values of Jesus into our daily lives and decision-making processes. By doing so, we can transform the way we interact with others and contribute to a more peaceful and harmonious world.

To implement WWJD in our daily lives, we need to start with small practical steps. This may involve pausing before responding in a heated argument, choosing forgiveness over bitterness, or seeking to understand rather than judge. It requires us to constantly evaluate our choices and actions, considering whether they align with the example and teachings of Jesus.

Keeping the WWJD concept in mind while making decisions requires a commitment to personal growth and reflection. It involves cultivating a deep and intimate relationship with Christ through prayer, Bible study, and fellowship with other believers. This spiritual foundation serves as a compass, guiding us in our pursuit of peace and reconciliation.

The Influence of WWJD on Christian Life and Worship

The WWJD movement has had a profound impact on individual Christians, shaping their personal lives and interactions with others. It serves as a constant reminder of the values and teachings of Jesus, challenging believers to live out their faith in tangible ways. For many, the WWJD philosophy has become a guiding principle in their daily lives, influencing their relationships, decisions, and priorities.

The influence of WWJD is also evident in churches and worship gatherings. Many Christian communities have embraced the WWJD movement, incorporating its principles into their teachings, sermons, and community outreach efforts. The concept of peacemaking and following in the footsteps of Jesus has become central to their mission and vision.

The legacy of the WWJD movement in modern Christianity is undeniable. While it may have originated as a simple phrase in a book, it has evolved into a powerful call to action for believers around the world. It continues to inspire Christians to strive for peace, unity, and reconciliation, both within themselves and in the world around them.

Guidelines to Embrace the Role of a Peacemaker

Embracing the role of a peacemaker requires cultivating essential qualities and adhering to biblical principles. To become a peacemaker, one must embody love, humility, patience, and a desire for reconciliation. These qualities will enable individuals to navigate conflicts with grace and wisdom, ultimately working towards peace and unity.

Biblical principles also serve as a guide for aspiring peacemakers. The Bible teaches the importance of forgiveness, seeking reconciliation, and promoting justice. Peacemakers are called to be courageous and speak up for the oppressed, while always exhibiting the love and compassion of Christ.

Practical ways to make peace in personal and professional life include engaging in active listening, seeking to understand different perspectives, and choosing reconciliation over division. Peacemakers strive to build bridges rather than walls, focusing on reconciliation and restoration rather than vindication and revenge.

In conclusion, the WWJD movement and the concept of peacemaking are deeply intertwined. The WWJD philosophy challenges us to continuously ask ourselves how Jesus would respond in different situations and to follow His example of love, forgiveness, and understanding. By embracing this mindset, we can actively work towards peace in our own lives, relationships, and communities, ultimately becoming ambassadors of Christ’s love and reconciliation in a divided world.