“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” – Matthew 5:9 (NIV).
None of us are unfamiliar with conflict. Disagreements happen. Something is said perhaps in the heat of the moment, and another word is exchanged, and soon there are raised voices and hurt feelings. It happens at school, on the street, at work, even in the church. Peacemakers can make a real difference.
What does it mean to be a peacemaker? Being a peacemaker does not mean that you avoid all conflict and confrontations. Nor does it mean that you are laidback, easygoing, relaxed, and passive and that you defend a “peace at any price” philosophy.
The idea of a peacemaker is to make peace. Romans 12:18 says, “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” James 3:18 adds, “And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.” A peacemaker is a person who is at peace with himself or herself and because they are at ease internally, they are not ill-tempered and abrasive outside. They work to settle quarrels and diminish conflict. Peacemakers are accepting, tolerant, and refrain from being negative. In the words of Ephesians 4:3 says, “Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”
Solomon has a lot to say about peacemakers: “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. (Proverbs 15:1). “Kind words are like honey-sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” (Proverbs 16:24). Peacemakers are slow to anger: “A hot-tempered person starts fights; a cool-tempered person stops them.” (Proverbs 15:18). And peacemakers are humble and trusting. “Greed causes fighting; trusting the Lord leads to prosperity.” (Proverbs 28:25).
In this turmoil-filled world we live in, there is never true peace in a person’s heart until Jesus comes to reign in that person’s life. With the coming of Jesus, real peace became a possibility in our world. Christ is the ultimate peacemaker.
Our world desperately needs peacemakers who know the peace that only Christ can bring. Peace in homes where there is constant fighting and bickering. Peace in churches that are sometimes torn apart by conflict. Peace in cities where violence has broken out. Peace in our troubled hearts.
- What does a “peacemaker” mean to you?
- How can we be more of a peacemaker this week?