I think we typically view peacemakers as people who step into the middle of a fight and say, “Okay, hold on. Wait. Hush. Let’s talk this out rationally and calmly.”
But I’m not convinced the peacemakers are the ones with their placating hands in the air, saying whatever smooth words will diffuse the situation. I do, however, believe they’re right in the middle of the action.
Maybe the peacemakers are actually fighters.
Please hear me out: I’m not calling anyone to violence. I don’t believe that’s the answer. But fighting for something rather than with someone might be.
As my friend, Elizabeth, pointed out, peacekeepers are the ones don’t like to rock the boat and will do whatever it takes to quiet drama and avoid mess. But peacemakers are active.
Peacemakers are those who love peace. They apologize quickly and don’t seek revenge, and if we truly follow Jesus’ model—we love and even serve our enemies. Peacemakers do everything they can to seek reconciliation (and peace), but know they aren’t responsible for the way others respond. As Paul says, “If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
Loving and pursuing peace doesn’t mean we achieve peace by any means necessary. Making peace means exchanging hatred for love; frustration for understanding.
Although giving a child the toy she demands in a tantrum may stop the screaming, it won’t help her in the long run. Think of it this way: We may not understand what God is doing, even throw a tantrum of our own, but that doesn’t mean He’ll give us what we want to have “peace.” The peace He calls us to is deeper than making sure either party has what they want. His peace calls us to honor Him and each other in our resolution. God, our ultimate example, pursued peace with us—giving us a way to be reconciled with Him. It satisfied His requirement of payment for sin and our need for righteousness. Through Jesus, He reconciled us to Himself, and He calls us to take His “message of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:19) to the world.
What does it mean to share the message God has given us?
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:18-21
Peace follows reconciliation.
Peacemakers are messengers of God’s peace to the world. So, when I say peacemakers are fighting for something, here’s what I mean: We are fighting for reconciliation. We are fighting with the light that is in us to overcome the darkness in the world. We are fighting for people to know Jesus, the One who brought true peace to us. After all, He is Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6).
But who are we fighting against? Our enemy is“the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2, ESV) and “the god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:4). He wants to keep people from seeing the truth about God and being reconciled to God through Jesus. Why? Because he is darkness, and he would love the keep the whole wide world in darkness with him. That’s just the kind of guy he is.
The thing is: the enemy can influence us, but he can’t make us choose. And he can’t shut out the light of the gospel, either. If we don’t choose to follow Jesus, that’s on us. But the enemy will do everything he can to make us choose him instead.
We fight against the enemy, the prince of the power of the air, the god of this age. We fight from a position of victory, because we fight in the power and protection of God Himself. We can do this because our God, the original peacemaker, made peace with us through His Son, Jesus.
Our role as peacemakers isn’t just for us, though. Just like Jesus acted on our behalf as the peacemaker between God and us, we can act as a peacemaker for others.
No matter whether you’re caught up in a difficult situation or two of your friends are at odds or maybe even the world itself seems set against you or those you love—you are called to pursue peace.
Where there is hatred, peacemakers bring love. Where there is frustration, peacemakers bring understanding. Where there is devastation, peacemakers bring joy. Where there is brokenness, peacemakers pursue healing. Where there is darkness, peacemakers are a light.
Peacemakers may struggle, feel defeated, be unpopular or even abandoned by people close to them. Peacemakers may grow tired of doing the hard work of reconciliation. But here’s some good news for those who pursue peace: God pursues you.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.