I’ve always thought of myself as a peacekeeper. Don’t make waves, don’t rock the boat, try to keep everyone happy and steady. And I’ve been pretty satisfied with that version of myself over the years.
Honestly, having been to church since I was born, I don’t typically come across brand new concepts in church. I mean, there are definitely always new growth points for me, but it’s rare that something is an entirely new idea.
This past Sunday (at City Church for All Nations in Bloomington, Indiana: https://citychurchbloomington.org/ ) I was hit with this new (to me) idea:
We are called to be peaceMAKERS, not peaceKEEPERS.
To the untrained ear (like mine for the past 30+ years), they sound very much the same and are often used interchangeably. The only problem with this is they are not actually synonymous like I (and maybe some of you) previously thought.
You see, to KEEP the peace implies we’re careful about what we say and often careful not to speak up at all in the face of something we may disagree with. We wouldn’t want to make any waves after all. We wouldn’t want to do anything that might cause another person to feel strong emotions. That wouldn’t be peaceful, would it?
While we absolutely should be careful with our words and let wisdom be our guide, telling us when to speak up and when to keep our mouths shut, sometimes we need to make a few waves in order to ultimately MAKE peace.
It’s what the role of a peacemaker is all about:
Making, not just keeping, the peace.
Imagine being married for many years to a spouse that drives you crazy. (Some may have to try harder than others…haha.) Maybe it’s due to little things that add up, or maybe it’s big things we’re too afraid to address.
To keep the peace is simple, if not easy. Keep quiet, keep plugging away at life, all the while building resentment and bitterness toward our spouse on the inside.
To make the peace is not as simple. It may involve a not-so-peaceful period of arguments and hard work as we thoroughly address our issues in order to come out on the other side where true peace resides.
Sometimes we must upset the superficial peace in order to ultimately attain genuine, lasting peace.
Do you know how often the Bible talks about the importance of peacekeeping?
Zero. Zero times.
Our call from God is to make peace, not merely keep it.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9
Are you up for the challenge of peacemaking? Personally, I’m still deciding. Only kidding! Mostly… 🙂
Nobody said it would be easy. It will take courage. It will take initiative. It will take practice. But I believe in us. We can do it… with a little help.
I believe the Holy Spirit will guide and help us as we get up out of our comfy cozy comfort zones of peacekeeping in order to pursue peacemaking.
It won’t be easy, but how sweet to be called children of God. If that doesn’t motivate us, what will?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! Had you ever considered the difference between peacemaking and peacekeeping before?
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Thanks for reading!