I am grieved by the troubles in our world today. Everywhere we turn people are against one another. There are divisions over race, religious views, political views, social and economic status. And for many of us there is division in our own families. So I think everyone would agree, we need peacemakers.
I know this is a marriage blog and so I’m not trying to turn this into a current events article. But I believe some of the lessons we try to communicate to marriages, we can also apply to the world around us. After all, marriage is all about the journey of becoming united as one flesh. So why wouldn’t the same principles of unity work for our world around us?
When Jesus gave His famous ‘Sermon on the Mount’ He knew the world was full of division. It was during His time on Earth. It was that way before He came. And He knew the world would continue to struggle with division. Unless things changed in the heart of the people. So He made this one statement; …..
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9
This is a powerful statement He made. But if we are not careful we can just glide right past it and miss the depth of what it means.
Three parts to this statement.
- We are “blessed.”
First of all, He said we should consider ourselves blessed when we are peacemakers. The word “blessed” here is “makarios” in the Greek. This word can is also translated as blessed, or happy. So in other words, He said a key to living a happy life is be a peacemaker.
We know this is true when we stop to think about how we feel when we are in unity with our spouse, or with others. There is a wholeness type of feeling when we are in unity. And just the opposite is true when we are in division. When we have division against our spouse, or someone else, there is a sense of division in our own souls. A sense of not being whole.
- Children of God
The last part of the verse tells us the biggest reason we’re blessed. When we are peacemakers it is because it makes us look like God’s children. How often do we say a child looks or acts a lot like their father or mother? Most of the time it is a compliment and it honors the parent to hear their child resembles them.
The same is true for us. We bring honor and glory to God when our behavior reminds others that we are His children. When we are peacemakers we are acting like our heavenly Father.
God’s greatest demonstration as peacemaker was when Jesus came to the earth. It was His solution to reconcile His broken relationship with mankind. This is what the angels were worshiping and glorifying God about on the night Jesus was born. “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” Luke 2:14
- So, what is a peacemaker?
Peacemakers are not passive people who just try to keep everything quiet. Who sometimes just sweep problems under the rug. No, peacemakers are people who pursues making peace wherever they encounter division. They do not get defensive and try to protect one side of division. They get offensive by attacking division to restore peace.
Peacemakers don’t buy into the idea that we have irreconcilable differences. No, that’s where division sets in. But, they understand we can have our differences, as long as we don’t have division. So they seek to reconcile differences through understanding and acceptance.
Peacemakers are not threatened by differences. They appreciate the fact that our differences are what makes us unique and beautiful in our own way. Peacemakers know that a world without differences would be a dull, and boring world to live in.
The three tools of peacemakers
Reconciliation and peace can only come when we apply all three tools of peacemaking. Like a three-legged table, you take one leg away and the table will not stand.
It takes a love that goes beyond human love to make peace in many situations. It takes the kind of love that only comes from God. But with God’s love we are capable of reaching across the isles of division. Which has to start with our love for God.
When we love our heavenly Father the way we should, our natural response will be to love all His children. With His love, regardless of what differences we have, we will love each other. When we love Him this way we appreciate the uniqueness of everyone and everything He has created.
Then as we love one another with His kind of love we become capable of laying down our selfish agendas. We lay down our agendas as a sacrifice for the greater good of God’s purpose and glory. Out of our love for God and His people we become willing to give up our right to be right. We submit our personal identity to the greater identity of who we are in Him.
To reconcile our differences and find unity with one another we have to grow in understanding. And how can we expect to grow in understanding if we are not willing to communicate with one another. We must bring everything we have to the table and learn to engage in peace talks with one another. We must make it our goal to grow in understanding.
There are so many lessons about good communication that are need here. But the key is to never give up on communication. There is room to grow for us all. When we meet up against a tough spot, we have to insist that we keep coming back. We keep doing it until we are able to get past the division that is blocking us.
Forgiveness is what moves us past the bitterness of division. It’s what enables us to let go of the past and move forward. It allows us to move forward even though we know there will be times when we will have to apply forgiveness again.
We are imperfect human beings. And we have a vast amount of differences from one another. Put those two things together and there will be many opportunities for offence. So when those offences come we will once again find the need for forgiveness.
A great example.
We have used this example before. But I think it is such a great example to make this point of being a peacemaker, I must share it with you again.
The example is Corrie ten Boom. If you have never heard of her story, check out this LINK.
She shared her story in the book, “The Hiding Place.” In the book you will read her heroic story of survival from a Nazi prison camp where she lost her sister. After the war she begun her world-wide ministry. On one occasion, she came face to face with one of the guards from the Nazi prison. And even though it was a difficult challenge for her, she still chose to submit herself to the Lord. And she showed this man the Love of Christ by forgiving him.
The division Corrie and that Nazi guard once shared could not have been more difficult. Yet, the love of God compelled her to reach across this great divide and share forgiveness with him.
I don’t know if this was for you and your spouse. Or if you’re like me and you’re concerned with other places of division in the world. But I hope you will join us as we seek the Lord for how we can represent Him by being the best peacemakers we can be.
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