What’s your news feed like these days? Do you leave your social media feeling warm and fuzzy or ready to pull your hair out?

I struggle with the negativity that runs like a current through my newsfeed. I intentionally choose to limit my time on Facebook, which is where I see most of the threads promoting dissonance and ugliness. It makes all the difference in providing a space to breathe and focus on what is most important.

Throughout the strong opinions and “my way or the highway” attitudes, I still discover encouragement, love and people striving to make a positive difference. There is a sense of if we cooperate, we can avoid much of the messiness. I am not totally discouraged by what I read, see or hear and love the challenge in our beatitude today. Savor the words for a few minutes and linger over the message in the second part. I know this is what I want as a child of God.

You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family. Matthew 5:9 MSG

As I read the beatitude, I see the word cooperate. When my sons were young, they disagreed and argued. I remember very few times they hauled off and began physically fighting. When I recall these years, my memory is not completely clear as to how I managed to lay the foundation for my sons to cooperate with each other. I know I developed ground rules of respect, love for each other and sharing. From there, I stayed consistent and modeled appropriate behavior where I could. Sounds easy right?

If things were as easy as I describe, our world would not look so disagreeable. When we respond to the latest news, we have a choice – model an answer in love or from a place of anger. Cooperate instead of compete or fight. Show others love by our actions, words and what we post in our social media feeds. Get along because in the long run it’s easier than working so hard to share your opinions.

I treasure being a member of God’s family as well as my own immediate family. Both require hard work on my part to show consistent love and grace. Each family member, whether in God’s family or my own personal family, become better when I choose to cooperate. All members are equally important to the whole and should be treated accordingly.

The challenge of this beatitude teaches me daily. Whether I am home, at the store, driving to an appointment or making dinner, I make multiple choices of how to model examples of cooperation or competition. I cherish my family and want nothing more than for us to be together. I love the beauty of God’s creative weaving of personalities, ethnicities, age, gender and all the varied pieces that make up His family. There is a deep desire in my heart to be known not only by God but as a integral member of the family.

I pray I continue to learn to promote cooperation in my daily interactions with others. May my reactions filter through a lens of grace and love and may I turn to God in prayer before answering. I pray you all accept the challenge of striving toward getting along with all the members of God’s family. May God guide your decisions and may you embrace the beautiful place you have in His family.

Sabbath blessings,

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