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WHAT DOES IT MEANS TO BE A PEACEMAKER
A peacemaker is someone who is actively seeking to reconcile people with God and others. The word peacemaker is composed of two very common words: peace and maker.
The word peace is the Hebrew word shalom. It is often used as a welcome word or a starting word in the same way as pronouncing “hello” or “goodbye”, is a broad term related to health, prosperity, harmony and integrity (Num 6: 24-26).
It is important to remember that peace in the Bible is always based on justice and righteousness. Where justice prevails and rules of justice, there you will also have peace. But without these two virtues, a lasting peace is not possible.
The word Peacemakers come from the Greek verb that means “to do”. It is a word that is full of energy. It imposes actions and initiatives. Someone has to drag the fighters to the table and give them a reason to lower their arms. Peace must be made. Peace never happens by chance. A peacemaker is never passive. Always take the initiative. They are up and doing.
Thus, when these two words are taken together, “peace” and “Maker,” it describes someone who actively pursues peace. The peacemaker pursues more than the absence of conflict; they do not avoid disputes (in fact, peacemaking will sometimes create conflicts); they do not simply try to appease the parties to the conflict; they are not trying to accommodate everyone. Instead, they are pursuing all the beauty and bliss of God over another. “There are people who produce right relationships in every sphere of their life.”
Peacemaking is a divine work. God is the mastermind of peace. And, Jesus is the supreme peacemaker. Jesus came to establish peace; His message explained peace; His death acquired peace; and his resurrected presence allows for peace. The Messianic predictions were that he would be the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9: 6). The angelspublicized His birth by singing, “Glory to the Supreme Being in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to the folks whom He favors!” (Luke 2:14). Jesus’ persistent word of absolution to sinners was: “Go in peace!” Just before being crucified, Jesus’ last will and testament was: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you, I do not give you as the world gives, your heart should not be disturbed nor fearful” (John 14:27). When the Lord came back after the resurrection, his 1st word to the disciples was “Shalom. “Peace to you!” (Luke 24:36).
The life of Jesus Christ was saturated with his mission to bring the peace of God and to initiate the healing relations of peace with God. He paid a huge price for us to experience peace.
Jesus saw the seriousness of our problem and refused to sweep it under the carpet or stick his head in the sand. Only a drastic solution would suffice, so he “made peace” by shedding his blood on the cross. Christ is our supreme example in bringing peace into our hearts, our relationships, our church, our nation and our world.
When we read Jesus’ words, “Blessed are the peacemakers,” we smile softly and say, oh, that’s good.” But pacification is not pleasant. The establishment of peace is a messy and heartbreaking work. It takes time and lots of emotional energy. It’s like crossing a stream that moves fast on slippery rocks. The trip is necessary. Work is risky. And sometimes you fall down. You get hurt. And, sometimes you don’t make it across the stream.
The characteristic of a Christian is the ability to get along with other people. The testimony of a church is its ability to get along with other people. We have a scriptural God-given responsibility to pursue peace. The apostle Paul declared, “God hath called you to peace” (1 Cor 7:15). God wants his children to be builders of bridges. What can you and I do to build those bridges of peace? What steps, what methods can we use to actively reconcile people with God and with others?
(Matthew 18:15) taking the first move, the peacemakers take the initiative. Conflicts are never resolved accidentally. The first step may be a letter, a phone call or a visit. Someone has wrong you or you have hurt someone else, take action today. Your peace of mind and your Christian testimony depends on you taking the first step. Happiness awaits action.
When you take the first step and talk to the other person, before speaking, remember the words of Solomon and Paul. Solomon wrote: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a hard word causes wrath” (Prov 15: 1). Paul wrote: “No rotten word should come out of your mouth, but only what is good for building up a needy person to give grace to those who hear”
(Eph 4:29). Understand your feelings. Assess your situation. Strike the problem not the person. Cooperate as much as possible. Emphasize reconciliation; Reconciliation is more crucial than being right.
The radical nature of Christ’s call for peace requires a radical re-creation of the human personality. One must first have a profound experience of God’s shalom. No one can become a peacemaker until he himself has found peace. We cannot give what is not real to us. Peacemaking begins with an experience of shalom in our own hearts. Grace and peace come from God and Jesus Christ” (Philips 1: 2). Grace always comes before peace. We must experience the grace of God before we can experience God’s peace. We need to enter into relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ before we can be a provider of peace to others. We need to know the peace ourselves before we can make peace in our relationships. In other words, we cannot make peace if we do not have peace.
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