Peacemakers, not Peacekeepers
Matthew 5:9 – Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Today I am going to outline the difference between peacekeeping and peacemaking. In the above scripture, the Bible calls us peacemakers, not peacekeepers. There is a huge difference between keeping peace (peacekeeping) and making peace (peacemaking).
Peacekeeping means keeping people from attacking each other by putting some kind of barrier between them. Peacekeepers work hard to keep tensions from rising. They work hard at pretending that nothing is wrong and that nothing is bothering them. Peacekeepers avoid conflict at any cost. Their reward is apparent peace and tranquillity and the slow demise of their integrity.
Peacekeepers can endure fake peace for decades while the tension erodes their well-being. Peacekeepers keep the status quo in order to keep the peace. They tag along and compromise their standard to feel and be among. Peacekeepers are often portrayed as deeply spiritual because they can endure so much without “saying anything”. They often see their suffering, not as an expression of being misguided or of stupidity, but as a product of faithfulness to being a “Christian.”
Such Christians, because they don’t want to be called weird, do not preach the gospel to people around them. They say “Let’s let them be. God will touch them in His own way and time.” They avoid being confrontational or open about their faith in Christ. They always procrastinate and shift responsibility. They want everyone to speak well of them and they don’t want to take new territories. In the name of peacekeeping, many compromise and lose their integrity in the process. Friend, we are not called to be peacekeepers; we are called to be peacemakers. True peace only exists where the ‘Prince of Peace’ is allowed in to establish His kingdom.
Peacemaking is the process of creating a settlement between the disputing parties; in this case, between God and man. Remember, God did not walk away from man; it was man that walked away from God. Therefore, this particular peacemaking between God and man is one-sided. We are reconciling people to God or better still, God is reconciling people to Himself through us. Peacemaking lays the groundwork for authentic peace to rule. Jesus was a peacemaker (the cross is evidence that He did not avoid conflict) and He calls us to be peacemakers.
Peacemakers allow tensions to surface and encourage tensions to be aired. They might even precipitate conflict.
Peacemakers invite necessary conflict because they know there is no other pathway to the increase of understanding between warring people and groups. Peacemakers value authentic peace more than its distorted parody. The peace that exists between people with the courage to endure conflict, for the sake of lasting peace, is like gold when compared to its counterfeit cousin (peacekeeping).
In your family, at your work place, in your business and relationships, move toward lasting peace with courage. Assume your legitimate role as a peacemaker rather than avoid conflict in order to keep a semblance of peace that is not worth having. Preach the Word of God in season and out of season. There is never a bad time to cast out the devil and bring in the light of the gospel. We are called to be God’s peacemaker.
Some may ask what it means to be a peacemaker. More importantly what does it mean to be God’s peacemaker? I’ll answer that tomorrow.
For Further Study
Ephesians 2:10-18, 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
Personal declaration for the day
I create a peace and give peace to my world through the love of Christ.
Questions for you to reflect on
Are you a peacemaker or a peacekeeper?
Can you remember a specific time when you acted as a peacemaker or as a peacekeeper?
Which one brought lasting peace?