Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Then he goes on to say a bit later to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your father in heaven.”
With all the stuff going on around us, it’s vital that we, as Christians, understand what it means to be a peacemaker. So many Christians are drawing lines in the sand. Many Christians find themselves on opposing sides from each other. But a friend of mine taught me that an effective peacemaker doesn’t draw the line, nor do they stand on one side, rather they take their foot and erase the line altogether.
The following are my personal “Pillars of Peace” that help me live into being a peacemaker:
Grace: 1 Peter 4:10 says “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” In order to be a peacemaker, be gracious to others as God is gracious to us.
Mercy: Mark 11:25 says, “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Peacemakers forgive as we are forgiven.
Patience: Ephesians 4:1-2 says, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Being patient means to be kind and gentle and persevering; it doesn’t mean just holding out to eventually get something you want.
Honor & Respect: Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself.” Respect means approaching others with humility and understanding that everyone has gifts and talents bestowed on them by God. Some say Respect is earned, but I say that respect is just a gift we give others regardless of their deserving nature. Afterall, none of us really deserve anything. Romans 12:17 says, “Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.”
Humility: 1 Peter 3:8 says, “Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.” Peacemakers are not presumptuous. They are concerned more with relationships and bridge-building rather than proving someone wrong.
This world needs warriors for God. And warriors for God in today’s world are peacemakers. They live for reconciliation; reconciliation with all of their neighbors. Paul reminds us in his letter to the Colossians: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Col. 3:12-13)