“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” ~ Matthew 5:9
Being a Christian peacemaker requires that we first understand what it is that God is calling us to. Included in this understanding is knowing what it’s not.
First, peacemaking is not compromising your faith.
Peacemaking will involve making compromises, but not this kind of compromise. Jesus while calling us to be peacemakers also said this: “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother…” (Matthew 10:34-35).
Here the Lord is talking about our allegiance to him. He is to be first in our lives, and no one, not even family, should ever take his place. And if the condition of me keeping the peace is disowning my Lord, then there won’t be peace. Because my love for Jesus comes first.
Second, peacemaking is not sweeping conflict under the rug.
Jesus didn’t say Blessed are the peacekeepers. There’s a huge difference between peace-making and peace-keeping.
If you’re someone who abhors conflict and does everything in their power to never make waves, you’re not a peacemaker. You could just be a wimp.
Conflict can actually be a good thing if it leads in the end to greater love and understanding for one another. Through conflict we are given the opportunity to solve problems, to remove irritations, to learn to appreciate others, and to grow in maturity.
On the other hand, ignoring conflict does not get rid of it. It only allows its malignancy to fester, and resentment to grow, and anger to churn like a lava dome ballooning in size. And when it blows, God help us all. The spouse who codependently covers up their spouse’s drug addiction will in time be crushed by it.
I can’t tell you how many times I have been invited in to help troubled couples, only to find that the invitation should have come two or three years earlier. It’s far easier to put out a fire in its early stages, than when it’s consuming entire hillsides.
Third, peacemaking is not appeasement.
It’s not being the doormat and allowing the other person to walk all over you, and get his way. That’s not peacemaking at all.
“Well, the Bible tells me I have to submit to my husband,” I’ve heard women weakly say who are being trampled on by a domineering husband. No! Biblical submission is actually an expression of power where I willingly humble myself and set aside my power and privilege to serve and empower the other.
Appeasing another, and allowing them to steamroll you in the name of keeping the peace obliterates your self-respect, and insures that their selfish behavior will continue on its demonic path.