Peacemakers vs Peacekeepers
I wrote about the Beatitudes the other day and once again, something jumped off the page at me.
Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” NKJV
And here is what caught my eye. It did not say blessed are the peacekeepers. It says, blessed are the peacemakers.
Peacemaker vs. peacekeeper.
What is the difference?
Well, until this week, they were one in the same in my mind, but something clicked as I read and wrote on Friday.
I consider myself a peacekeeper. I don’t like conflict. I consider myself to be a people pleaser, but in a good way. I like people to be comfortable around me. I want them to leave feeling a bit better than when they came. I want only good memories. And until not too long ago, I thought that was a good thing. I am beginning to change my mind on this topic.
Peacemaker vs. peacekeeper.
Apparently, there are some problems with being a peacekeeper.
According to a writer with Everett Christian Counseling, peacekeepers are often afraid of conflict (yep, that’s me). And that can lead to many ongoing problems:
Being treated like a doormat
Lack of confidence or self-worth
Anxiety or depression
The article went on to say, “You may be working overtime to keep the peace in your family, workplace, or church, yet seeing few results for all your efforts. Your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health can suffer if you strive to be a peacekeeper…” (ouch)
A peacemaker on the other hand is not afraid of conflict. Peacemaking people stay calm and self-controlled during conflicts, and they help others arrive at an agreeable solution. Here are other characteristics of a peacemaker:
Reasonable and level-headed
Shows grace to others
Listens well and shares wisdom
Bears the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23)
Promotes unity and reconciliation
When I think of a peacemaker I think of a mediator; that person who attempts to help people involved in a conflict come to an agreement. They are the go-between. The middleman. The intervenor, interceder, reconciler. They are umpire, referee, and judge.
You know who that sounds like to me? Jesus.
Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of what peacemaker looks like. He did not come just as a peacekeeper; He came ready for action. It got right in the middle of this conflict between humans and Satan, and we won!
I want to be a peacemaker, don’t you? James says peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3:17-18 NKJV
Let’s make peace. Let’s walk in the Spirit and by doing so bare the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18
by Jeanette Stark – Wednesday, September 14, 2022