”Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God”
In light of the current conditions in the world around us, this beatitude seems to be, at best, out of reach. With the amount of hatred and vitriol that is being displayed, you wonder how any reconciliation could ever be achieved. It seems that our minds and hearts have been closed to those who oppose our position. It used to be that, when in an argument where there seemed to be no resolution, we just “agreed to disagree.” That is no longer the case. We have lost any toleration or acceptance of anyone who disagrees with us. Our society has lost its ability to show mercy, much less display grace. We are on a collision course with disaster if we do not find someone who is willing to blink.
It is to this kind of dysfunction that Jesus says, ”Blessed are the peacemakers.” Could it possibly be that He is telling us to go against the tide of culture and bridge the gap of opposition instead of being the opposition? I believe that’s exactly what He’s saying. Between this world of hatred, prejudice and war, and a world of peace, God has placed His people right in the middle in sharp contrast as peacemakers. But, you might say, He is asking something of us that is impossible. What do you think the Christian life is, anyway? It’s made up of things that are impossible for us to achieve. That is exactly why we have to depend on His grace to help us. This is no different. Somehow or another, we must find a way to bring peace to this rocking, reeling world before it goes up in smoke. No pressure.
What does it look like to be a peacemaker? What are the characteristics of a
peacemaker, and the guidelines for bringing peace into an environment?
Before I can ever be a dispenser or facilitator of peace;
1. I must live at peace with God.
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2. I must know the peace of God.
“...and the God of peace will be with you.”
3. I must possess peace from God.
2 Thessalonians 3:16
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.”
Like most of the elements of our Christian walk, it is impossible for us to communicate or proclaim the truth until we have first experienced it for ourselves. Before we can be peacemakers, we must first be at peace.
First of all, we cannot be quarrelsome. To be so would sabotage the process from the start. Secondly, there is no room for jealousy, envy or bitterness on our part. We cannot look at every situation and how it impacts us. Living this way would bring yet another opposing side into the process. We must view things in the light of God’s word and, somehow, be a facilitator not a main actor. We must be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger. Peace does not mean “anything to avoid trouble.” Peace is so much more than just being easygoing. It is definitely not peace at any price.
Wow, I’d better stop now. The further we go, the harder this gets.
I do not believe that peacemaking is a crusade to which we have been called. We are not to move through our world looking for conflict into which we interject ourselves as the savior. I think what Jesus had in mind was a people that live a life of peace, and then our very presence would change the atmosphere wherever we are. Bringing peace to conflict should be like bringing light to darkness. It is not so much a matter of process or procedure as it is a way of life. But, with that said, we should never shrink from actively working at bringing about peace to any situation whenever or wherever
Let’s take a moment and listen to the scriptural mandate as it pertains to peacemaking.
2 Corinthians 13:11
“Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”
1 Corinthians 14:33
“For God is not a God of confusion, but of peace.”
1 Thessalonians 5:13
“Be at peace among yourselves.”
“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”
In a world of brash confrontation, blatant and persistent lawlessness, and uncontrolled retaliation for perceived wrongs, Jesus has called us to something better; something that builds rather than destroys, something that gives hope, not despair. He has called us to a life of peace and to a life of ministering peace to a world in conflict. Blessed are the peacemakers.
When you read scripture, you learn rather quickly that peace is at the very heart of our relationship with God and with the world around us. It’s not just a matter of possessing peace
but transmitting peace. It’s a large part of the mission of the church to live at peace, display peace, and to make peace.