What is a Peacemaker?

21 Sep

As Christians, we truly have enviable lives. It is quite exciting to realize how truly blessed we are. It was also nice to hear Pastor Curt preach on the blessing of being a peacemaker this last week. In my past, I have been to many churches where a culture of peacemaking was just not the norm. Many of those churches are great churches and do many things well, but I cannot tell you the overwhelming sense of safety that comes from being in such a church.

While Pastor Curt did a phenomenal job unpacking that verse, I couldn’t help but think about the context of verses as a whole. And while these are different character traits that are separable to a degree, I believe they are not so much prescriptions for the written reward. Rather, I believe these are descriptions of those who are regenerate. Those who live their lives for Christ will be characterized and described as poor in spirit, mourning, meek, hungry and thirsty for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, reviled and persecuted for Christ’s name, and yes, peacemakers.

You see, if we are chosen by God, we will live these enviable lives that take on the characteristics Jesus named. I don’t believe Jesus came up with a haphazard list based purely on a spur-of-the-moment emotion, like I’ve been known to do. This list of the fortunate ones is a comprehensive, connected list in my opinion. Therefore, when we look at how to be a peacemaker, of which PC’s sermon did a fantastic job, we can further know that the other characteristics will be encompassed in our peacemaking.

A peacemaker will be poor in spirit. He will not be one who is setting his affection on this world or the arguments contained herein, but rather, he will be totally filled with a desire for redemptive conversation. He will be driven by what is important in the Kingdom of Heaven. To me, this means being kind, and remaining ardently supportive of the essentials of the Christian life and letting things that do not carry a Kingdom consequence to be glossed over. He will make peace by remaining poor in spirit!

A peacemaker will mourn. I, personally, believe that mourning is the first step to peacemaking. We don’t attempt to solicit peace until we are brought to mourning by someone else. This is the impetus which drives us to superior desire to keep the peace with others. We will mourn, and we will be comforted. That comfort will come through our attempts to make peace. It gives us freedom to not dwell or be dragged down by someone else’s life (even if it leads to our morning).

A peacemaker will be meek. I think the description of “how-to” achieve peace relies heavily on this meekness. My dad always gave the example of Hoss from the old TV show Bonanza. Meekness is strength under control. Often when making peace, we will forego our legal correctness and perhaps justified feelings for the assurance of peace with a brother or sister in Christ. We are not always doormats, and we know when the proper time to fight is, but we also are controlled in our strength. This is the heart of meekness. We are willing to give up something, because of the potential for peace. Peacemakers will be meek.

Peacemakers hunger and thirst for righteousness. Peace making is not merely about forgoing our rights, but rather seeking a righteous decision where God can be edified, rather than obscured. We hunger and thirst for this righteousness. And our peacemaking will draw us into a relationship with Him, where He is giving us a desire to pursue more and more righteousness. Peacemakers will hunger and thirst for righteousness!

Peacemakers will be merciful. Perhaps this is redundant, but there is a reason that Christ was repetitious. Sheep need things drilled in before they can catch on to such a concept. Mercy will define our actions. As Christ taught the parable of the one forgiven being required to likewise forgive, the mercy we have been given is so great, that we cannot help but to show mercy to others. This is a necessity to make peace, and peacemakers will be merciful!

Peacemakers will be pure in heart. True peacemaking is not about deceptively trying to get your way. True peacemaking is to purely achieve the best result for His kingdom. This is not the purity that describes us before our salvific experience. Nevertheless, it will be one of the enviable qualities that will describe us afterward. Peacemakers will be pure in heart!

Finally, peacemakers will be persecuted for the name of Christ. We will be reviled. Men will say all kinds of evil about us. This is one that the American church struggles to understand. We have lived lives largely devoid of persecution. I’ve spent many hours wondering if we could truly be part of the church with the lightness of our persecution. Even though Christians are attacked in many ways culturally (beliefs, actions, concerns, etc.), we lead lives largely of no persecution. But there will be. Even if we can avoid the persecution, people will revile us and speak all manner of evil against us. This is the call of a peacemaker.

So, as excited as you may be by reading the other characteristics, you may be just as depressed by hearing this. But take heart. Our Savior promised us that our reward is in heaven. He has promised us that we are blessed. And we can be excited that peacemakers will be persecuted!


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