So the LORD told Abraham, “I have heard a great outcry from Sodom and Gomorrah, because their sin is so flagrant. I am going down to see if their actions are as wicked as I have heard. If not, I want to know.” The other men turned and headed toward Sodom, but the LORD remained with Abraham. Abraham approached him and said, “Will you sweep away both the righteous and the wicked? Suppose you find fifty righteous people living there in the city—will you still sweep it away and not spare it for their sakes? Surely you wouldn’t do such a thing, destroying the righteous along with the wicked. Why, you would be treating the righteous and the wicked exactly the same! Surely you wouldn’t do that! Should not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?” And the LORD replied, “If I find fifty righteous people in Sodom, I will spare the entire city for their sake.” Then Abraham spoke again. “Since I have begun, let me speak further to my Lord, even though I am but dust and ashes. Suppose there are only forty-five righteous people rather than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And the LORD said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five righteous people there.” Then Abraham pressed his request further. “Suppose there are only forty?” And the LORD replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the forty.” “Please don’t be angry, my Lord,” Abraham pleaded. “Let me speak—suppose only thirty righteous people are found?” And the LORD replied, “I will not destroy it if I find thirty.” Then Abraham said, “Since I have dared to speak to the Lord, let me continue—suppose there are only twenty?” And the LORD replied, “Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.” Finally, Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me if I speak one more time. Suppose only ten are found there?” And the LORD replied, “Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.” When the LORD had finished his conversation with Abraham, he went on his way, and Abraham returned to his tent. GENESIS 18:20-33 NLT
Reflects: God’s peace
“The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” PHILLIPPIANS 4:7 ESV
Motivation: to be at peace, avoid conflict and create healthy spaces for people to thrive
- Peacemakers see multiple sides to any given decision or scenario
- Peacemakers are inclusive, patient and accepting of others
- Peacemakers are good listeners and great mediators
- Peacemakers are considerate of the perspective of others
- Peacemakers desire to see the world as a more peaceful place
- Peacemakers avoid conflict at all cost
- Peacemakers do not declare their own needs
- Peacemakers are passive-aggressive
- Peacemakers can be stubborn
- Peacemakers are indecisive, inactive or prone to procrastination
- Peacemakers don’t do the important or necessary things required for growth
Core Sin: Laziness
“But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! MATTHEW 25:26 NLT
A healthy Peacemaker is always in pursuit of embracing healthy conflict and declares their wants and needs as a means of deeper connection with themselves and others.
How a Peacemaker can be real with Self:
- Own and resolve your feelings
How a Peacemaker can be real with Others:
- Make declarative statements
- Embrace that conflict isn’t necessarily bad and can lead to a resolution
How a Peacemaker can be real with God:
- Pursue faith with action
“Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.” ROMANS 12:11 NLT
How to Love a Peacemaker:
- Recognize their hidden power
- Create an environment where their voice is heard and it matters
- Don’t shield them from all conflict, but encourage them to actively engage
- Celebrate with them when they finish projects
- Don’t push them to sprint
- Thank them for their gift to see the other side of things
Personal Reflection Guide
Take a minute to slow down from the day’s events. Start by taking several slow, deep breaths, releasing any burdens you might feel as you exhale. Invite God into this time, asking him to reveal any undeclared needs you might be experiencing right now. Press into this area with God. As he reveals your needs, list them in the space below.
As you look over your list, which needs have you failed to communicate to others? Ask God which of these you need to speak up about, perhaps marking these on your list. Ask God for the courage to speak up and declare these needs this week.
- LEADER’S NOTE: Take the first 5-10 minutes of group time to have everyone do the Personal Reflection Guide (linked on the sermon notes). You may want to set a timer, play some soft music, etc. Once you notice people finishing up, transition to group discussion time with a short prayer, then open by asking people to share what that experience was like, if they feel comfortable.
- REAL WITH SELF: How do you view conflict? Do you see it as an opportunity for resolution, or is it cause for intense fear? What factors into these feelings for you?
- REAL WITH GOD: Describe a time in your life when you felt like God challenged your perspective on something. What was it like to see the issue from another side?
- REAL WITH OTHERS: What does your pursuit of peace look like? Do you talk with peaceful people? Do you avoid people? Run to God? Share with the group what things work for you to find peace.
- REAL WITH OTHERS: Describe a time when you were afraid of conflict, but entered into it anyways. How was that experience for you? What went well? What do you wish would have gone differently?
- TAKE ACTION: Is there any particular project, task, or conversation that you are procrastinating on right now? What is causing you to stall? What positive outcomes might surface if you were to tackle that this week?