Matthew 5:9 – “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
Are you peacekeeper or are you a peacemaker?
Peacekeepers often do everything in their power to keep an artificial peace and use that power to control the behaviour of others. In the same manner that a guard keeps watch over a prisoner, peacekeepers keep watch over peace. They stifle difficult yet necessary conversations from a fear that tensions might escalate. They see both confrontation and conflict as negative experiences that must be avoided. Peacekeepers sweep everything under the rug until that pile is so big that even if the invisible elephant in the room sat on it, the elephant couldn’t squash it down. What they try to avoid becomes a stumbling hazard not only to themselves but to those around them.
Parents with peacekeeping tendencies separate their children when childish squabbles arise rather than help their children resolve their conflicts. They value rules designed to keep an uneasy peace. They demand modified behaviour, and they view changed behaviour as a success. As long as there is a surface peace in their home or community, all is right in their world. Even if within that shallow peace hearts are not changed and there is no restoration of relationships.
Peacemakers step past their fear of confrontation. They are willing to create a safe place where polite facades can be set aside, and grievances are expressed respectfully. Peacemakers see confrontation as an opportunity to sweep away emotional landmines not yet resolved. They develop the skill of intentional, patient listening and pass that skill on to others. They value relational restoration above all else and do all that is within their power to facilitate an environment where voices are heard without prejudice. Peacemakers are wise enough to know the dangers of emotional and political riptides that lay below the surface of an ocean of uneasy peace.
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All Bible verses attributed to the ESV version unless otherwise indicated.
Until Next Week,
2019 Katherine Walden
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