September 24, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”—Matthew 5:9 (NKJV)
This verse is taken from Jesus’ famous teaching in Matthew chapters 5–7 called, “The Sermon on the Mount.” The sermon addresses how to live a spirit-filled life that pleases the Lord, full of mercy, grace, and love.
Let’s dig a little deeper into today’s verse. Have you ever noticed this verse doesn’t say blessed are the peacekeepers, but instead it says blessed are the peacemakers? Aren’t they the same thing? I don’t believe so, and here’s why . . .
Peacekeeping on the surface appears to be a quality Christians should strive for. Keeping the peace applies really well to minor offenses. Wisdom teaches us to pick our battles. However, if one is simply keeping the peace at the expense of resolving an issue or addressing a sinful pattern, then we need to ask ourselves why. Do we do this out of fear of rejection? Do we believe we won’t be accepted if we’re not being a people pleaser?
When we duck away from conflict, we are shying away from a revealing teacher. Conflict can bring to light our triggers, attitudes, and communication skills. It reveals where we’re holding on to sins such as bitterness and pride. It uncovers unresolved wounds, unmet expectations, or our deeply held resentments. Peacekeepers are more likely to suppress their emotions to avoid the uncomfortable feelings that arise with conflict. Uncovering the deeper issues of our struggles and moving toward conflict resolution can produce lasting spiritual growth.
Peacemaking is a far more vulnerable endeavor. Making peace requires much more self-sacrifice than just peacekeeping. Biblical peacemaking requires the courage to speak the truth in a gentle manner. As we read in Galatians 6:1 (NIV, emphasis added), “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.”
When we look at conflict less from the angle of winning and losing and more from the angle of problem solving, we promote a mindset of unity instead of division. A peacemaker works towards resolving conflict with the aim to provide healing and reconciliation. Jesus promised we would be blessed in our efforts to make peace. James 3:18 (NLT) states, “Those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.”
None of us can create lasting peace without Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Apart from Him we can do nothing. When we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, He will provide us with all we need to accomplish His will (Matthew 6:33). With His empowerment, we are able to be people who make peace in the midst of strife.
Pause: Do you tend to be more of a peacekeeper or a peacemaker? Do you tend to be a conflict avoider? If so, why?
Practice: Read Matthew 18:15–20. Ask the Lord to help you resolve conflict in a godly way.
Pray: Dear Lord, in order to have peace with others, I must first have peace with You. I confess my sins ____________ and repent. Your Word says if we confess our sins You are faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Empower me to be more than just a peacekeeper Lord. Please help me to be a peacemaker, resolving issues in a loving and godly way. Amen.
Deb Marsalisi is an author, public speaker, mentor and Fire Inspector. She began her writing journey to make peace with her challenging past. It has provided her with an outlet for creative self-expression, and a healthy new perspective on life.
Through God’s amazing grace, she has learned to rejoice in life’s ups and downs, struggles and victories understanding they’ve been given so she can help and inspire others on their own journey of restoration. Her passion is to support others in emotional and spiritual habits that are truly life-changing. She spends her free time loving, encouraging and mentoring young women to grow in their relationship with Jesus. And she also enjoys cooking amazing meals for her friends and family.