Are you a peacekeeper or a peacemaker?  You may believe they’re the same, but they are not.
Peacekeepers believe in peace at any price.  Peacekeepers are parents who won’t admit the myriad of symptoms their teen exhibits mean he is doing drugs.  Peacekeepers are wives who excuse their husband’s brutality as stress from his job.  Peacekeepers, sometimes, are pastors’ wives who assert that their church people always love each other and never have any problems.  Peacemakers, however, admit conflict happens and openly confront the problem to bring about a resolution.  Peacemakers know a period of discomfort is the price of healthy, honest relationships.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9).  So why, if the Bible says that peacemakers will be called children of God, isn’t that what people call me?  Is it because my version of peacemaking has been to find the quickest, least troublesome solution?  Do I believe maintaining status quo is more important than admitting there’s something wrong and dealing with the problem?  Could it be because when I finally get around to peacemaking the situation has reached such a fever pitch that the parties are in a full-scale war and aren’t interested in reconciliation?  Maybe it is because I concentrate more on people’s opinions than in following what Jesus tells me to do.
One of the most difficult responsibilities of leadership is correcting sheep gone astray.  It is so much easier to give warm fuzzies. Yet gentle correction is as necessary in God’s family as in our own. When you have to confront a wrong, remember to be obedient to God’s principles. Facing tough situations by adhering to God’s Word will keep you from taking sides. Make sure you speak the truth in love.  Something more easily done when you’ve spent time in prayer preparing for the encounter.  Finally, address problems while they’re small.  It is easier to deal with one small blaze than a whole forest fire. Be committed to peacemaking, not peacekeeping.
[Reprinted by permission from Brynwood Publishing.]

7 Replies to “Peacemakers”

  1. Thanks for writting such a truthfully theme. as I was googling the role of Pasto’s wife… I found this one. I just which it was in spanish, Im afraid to translate it and mess it up. If some day God bless me with a man of God who wants to pursued a ministry I will definetly keep this words in mind and heart. God bless you.

    Thank you.
    Carmen Julia.

  2. Interesting article.
    I have served as a military peace keeper and as a military peacemaker. There is a huge difference. Today I am a pastor’s wife.
    What surprised me was the similarities in Ministry and in active Military life. I was a Canadian soldier so I have served in several conflicts in a combat role. What I didn’t know was how valuable the conflict management skills acquired in my military training would be in the church setting. Of course not all my military skills are an asset but many of them hold true.

  3. This thought really hit home for me. Just yesterday God really was challenging me in the way that I thought about people. People are just so pitiful. (Me included) I sat there thinking about a huge situation at my church that my husband (the Pastor) and I are having to deal with, and I was just so overwhelmed by how pitiful we as people truly are.

    I just starting talking to God. People were really bothering me, and I just simply asked God, “Why do you love people? We are so stupid, pitiful, and irritating!” In the midst of this conversation God really delt with my heart about loving people the way that He loves us. His love is so much bigger than I can even fathom. I don’t know how he is as patient as he is. I cannot begin to understand why He even desired to love us. Yet, somehow I need to, no, I HAVE TO incorporate that love into my own life.

    I was raised in a family that were “peacekeepers.” They would never confront a situation if it would cause conflict, yet as a pastor’s wife, I am forced to confront situations at times, but this article has helped me to understand that that is not a bad thing! It’s just learning how to be a peacemaker out of whom love constently flows.

    That is what I aim for.

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