For a few weeks this summer we are looking at what Jesus taught us about the true secrets to living a happy life.

In the Beatitudes (Matthew 5), Jesus lays out eight standards for Christian living. You might call these the “8 Secrets of a Happy Life.” Everyone wants to be happy. But not everyone is eager to follow Jesus’ plan on how to find happiness. We need to pray and ask the Lord to help us live out these eight characteristics in our lives. The Beatitudes show us the way to be blessed and happy. They are also eight great things we need to pray become real in our own lives.

The seventh beatitude states, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” Jesus is reminding us here that if we want to live a happy life we need to be bridge builders — building people up and bridging relationships. It is so easy to war and fight with others. Disagreements and conflict are everywhere. But what brings happiness and peace is when we build bridges, heal hurts, and build others up instead of tearing them down. That requires extra grace and that is why we need to pray for God to give us His strength and grace to be peacemakers.

Ask God to help you be a peacemaker in all your relationships. Peacemaking is not the same thing as peacekeeping. We don’t abandon truth in order to keep the peace. No, we speak the truth but do so in love. We don’t sweep things under the carpet, but we find ways to reconcile and come to an understanding. This is not easy, but it is what we have been called to be and called to do.