Thursday, September 01, 2005

Blessed are the peacemakers

“Blessed are the peacemakers,” Jesus said. But do we Christians really take that to heart as a call to action, or is it just an abstract beatitude that we have our kids memorize?

I never thought I’d identify in the slightest with the “peace movement.” When it comes to politics, I’m a law and order kind of guy who sees the need for peace through strength and for good to confront evil in the world. The government, alas, does not bear the sword in vain, as Paul so plainly wrote.

On the other hand, (and it’s somewhat painful to admit), when it comes to personal relationships between brothers in Christ, I find myself very much on board with the peaceniks. In fact, in that context, I would have to say that Jesus himself was one.

Is it really necessary to state the obvious, that a peacemaker is highly valued in Jesus’ kingdom? Is it necessary to point out that a peacemaker sets out to make peace where it doesn’t exist? Making peace between brothers is a proactive calling, one worth the greatest of investments in time, effort, and personal discomfort to bring about.

The call to peace is also supported repeatedly by the revealed Word of God:

    Psalm 34:14 - Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

    Psalm 37:11 - But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.

    Psalm 37:37 - Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace.

    Proverbs 12:20 - There is deceit in the hearts of those who plot evil, but joy for those who promote peace.

    Matthew 5:9 - Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

    Mark 9:50 - "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other."

    2 Corinthians 13:11 - Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

    Galatians 5:22- - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.

    Ephesians 4:3 - Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

    Colossians 3:15 - Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.

    1 Thessalonians 5:12-14 - Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

    2 Timothy 2:22 - Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

    Titus 3:1-2 - Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.

    James 3:17-18 - But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.


I encourage all of my brothers and sisters in Christ to lay down arms against each other. It is absolutely imperative that Christians stop biting and devouring one another and start living in peace. Until that happens, we believers will be impotent in our efforts to share the blessings of Christ with the lost.

Christians are not immune from human failings. We all slip up and forget to forgive as we have been forgiven. Unfortunately, it feels good at first to hold a grudge, especially when we can rationalize it under the guise of a few choice scriptures. But in the end, it will eat up the people of God like a cancer until there is nothing left.

Sometimes, myself included, we just need a gentle reminder to go out and make peace, not war, to reconcile with our brother even if we feel wronged. Let’s get first things first:

    Matthew 5:23-24 - "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. (NIV)
Peace out. ;-)

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