Recently, my daughter-in-law called me a peacemaker, commenting that I was happy as long as everyone else was happy. Guilty as charged! I am a peacemaker. Not only do I like everyone to be content, I want my loved ones to be at peace with one another. During the last year, with every topic a polarizing state of disagreement, you can guess it has made me a little anxious. The fault with being a peacemaker is the trying to fix it part. As in many circumstances it is hard to let go and let God.
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. The Bible has much to say about peacemakers.
Matthew 5:9 Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” NIV
I don’t know about you, but I like being called a child of God. So what is it about being a peacemaker that qualifies me to be called a child of God?.
- Be at peace with others.
A few verses later in Matthew 5 verses 22-25, Jesus instructs worshipers to leave their gifts at the altar to make peace with those who have something against them. A sincere attempt to make peace with a brother or sister with a grievance is more acceptable to God than a gift on the altar.
- Love your enemies.
Skipping down in Matthew to verses 43-45, Jesus tells us we should love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. To be a Christian requires that you give up all rights to vindictiveness and revenge and form a detachment from worldly interest.
- Seek True Wisdom.
James provides us with a list of spiritual attributes to strive toward in 3:17-18,
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” ESV.
True wisdom is from above – it is close to the heart of God and has a heavenly origin. True wisdom, even on controversial subjects, is peaceable, gentle, and earnestly implores. It prefers to win an opponent to Christ rather than winning the argument. True wisdom is full of mercy and good fruits. In conclusion, James states, “a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
- Love your neighbor as yourself.
Mark records that Jesus says that all of the Ten Commandments hang on loving God with all your heart and then loving your neighbor as yourself. Mark 12:30-31. Loving well and with the heart of God is a commandment; it is actually referred to as “The Greatest Commandment.”
- Strive for peace.
In Hebrews 12:14, the Apostle Paul admonishes us to “strive for peace with everyone” ESV. Striving is to work hard at; lay aside your pride. Oh my goodness, it’s not easy, but the benefits are eternal.
- Pursue Peace.
Paul’s words encourage us to “pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” Romans 14:19.
Conflict is not new to our world or society; It goes back as far as Cain and Able. Today more than ever there is a great need for peacemakers. It is true; the title peacemaker defines me well. So for my family and friends who call me a peacemaker, thank you. I consider it a genuine compliment and the start of progress toward following Jeus’ footsteps.