The transformative value of peacemaking in daily life
The world is not a peaceful place. It seems to have become especially hostile in the arena of thoughts and perspectives. For some reason we can no longer tolerate a dissenting opinion – rather than respectfully listening to disagreement, we instead resoundingly lash out with personal attacks, sarcasm and a self-righteous indignation. Pretty sad, huh? Even we as Christians are guilty of this – even in light of Jesus teaching us that peacemakers are blessed! So, what does it mean to be a peaceMAKER? Is it different than being a peaceKEEPER? How far are we supposed to be reaching out to make peace and does it ever involve compromising our Christian principles to do so?
I’m sure you have either heard or spoken (especially if you have kids) the phrase, “Let’s just have some peace and quiet!” The amazing thing about this simple sentence is that it opens up serious understanding of what peacemaking and peacekeeping are really all about. “Peace” and “quiet” are entirely different results. A peacekeeper aims to establish a quiet environment. Peacekeeping does not address the underlying issues of a conflict; rather, it seeks to pacify those who are at odds for the sake of outward tranquility. Peacekeeping does establish a sense of relief, but it does not actually address or change any of the root causes within the elements that cause unrest.
While peacekeeping does have value in its proper place, it can also be deceiving. Think about it...what usually happens when someone seeks to accomplish “peace and quiet”? The first thing is always to establish quiet. Once this outward serenity is in place, the idea of seeking peace is usually forgotten. Why would we try and actually create peace and risk upsetting the nice calm quiet we just put in place? The bottom line is quiet is NOT peace. Getting to real peace is a whole different ballgame.
Jesus was a peacemaker and NOT a peacekeeper. He was (and is) the greatest peacemaker this world has ever seen, as the Bible tells us (2 Cor. 5:18-19) that he, by his earthly life, death and his resurrection established a path of reconciliation for the world back to God. Now THAT is being a peacemaker! Peacemaking can't get any better than blazing a pathway for an entire race to be redeemed and therefore have an opportunity for life and favor with their Creator!
Jesus was emphatic about his followers learning to walk in his peacemaking footsteps. This means we need to clearly understand what peacemaking is and how it works. Once the stark differences between peacemaking and peacekeeping begin to sink in, a whole world of opportunity and serious challenge will open up. We will begin to see situations present themselves at home, in the workplace and with our friends and fellow Christians. Check out our June 11, 2018 podcast, “Should We be Peacemakers?” for the details. Becoming a peacemaker is not only a must for any serious Christian, it is a huge quality of life issue as well. “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9
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