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Christian Soldiers: Peacemaking over Violence

Luke 3:14

And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

Today, I would like us to reflect upon a crucial aspect of our Christian living, one that is sometimes overlooked in our interactions with others: the commandment to refrain from being a striker or engaging in fights. This teaching is deeply rooted in the Bible and is central to the life and teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ.


In the book of Timothy, the Apostle Paul provides a list of qualities that a leader in the church should possess. Among these, he says, "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous" (1 Timothy 3:2-3 KJV).


The term 'striker' here refers to someone who is quick to engage in physical violence or verbal altercations. It is clear from this passage that such behaviour is not fitting for a follower of Christ. 


Jesus Himself taught us to turn the other cheek, to love our enemies, and to pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:38-44). He demonstrated this principle in His own life, choosing to endure suffering and death on the cross rather than resorting to violence or retaliation.


The Bible is clear: we are not to be people who are quick to fight or argue. Instead, we are to be peacemakers, individuals who strive to maintain harmony and unity, both within the church and in our broader communities.


However, this does not mean that we are to be passive or avoid conflict at all costs. The Bible also teaches us to stand firm in our faith, to defend the truth, and to resist evil (Ephesians 6:10-18). But our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil. Our weapons are not physical, but spiritual: truth, righteousness, faith, salvation, the Word of God, and prayer.

The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, uses the imagery of a warrior putting on the armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). It is also crucial to remember that our ultimate trust should not be in our physical abilities, but in God. Psalm 20:7 reminds us, "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God."


We must remember that every person is created in the image of God and is therefore deserving of respect and dignity. When we engage in fights or arguments, we are not only damaging our relationships with others, but we are also dishonouring God.


Instead, we should strive to resolve conflicts in a peaceful and respectful manner, seeking to speak truth in love and build bridges rather than walls. We should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, for human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires (James 1:19-20).


In conclusion, as Christians, we are called to reject strife and to embrace peace. We are to be peacemakers, not strikers. Let us reflect this in our words, our actions, and our attitudes. Let us strive to live in harmony with others, to promote unity and understanding, and to demonstrate the love and grace of Christ in all that we do. May God grant us the wisdom, patience, and strength to live out this calling.