Displaying peace in difficult relationships can be incredibly tough. Can you think of that person that rubs you the wrong way? Maybe you can think of a few. Sadly, I think we all know of at least one. Sometimes it takes all we have to display love even when we feel we have every right to lash out and become angry. Being a peacemaker is something God greatly admires and He blesses those who desire to keep peace in their relationships, especially the tough ones. Let’s take a look and discover what being a peacemaker is all about…
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
What does it mean to be a peacemaker?
Living as a peacemaker starts from within. Often times we carry around pain and disappointments in our lives, and in result, it can be taken out on others around us. When we hold on tightly to pain from our past and let it fester in our hearts, it can affect how we react in our relationships and how we treat others. When we take all our frustrations and leave them in God’s hands to judge and use for His glory we can let our distress be replaced with peace so we can extend it to others.
When we are a peacemaker, we exemplify the peace God has given us and integrate it into our relationships in areas that it may typically be difficult to practice kindness and love. Being a peacemaker doesn’t mean we avoid conflict, but instead, we encounter those tough relationships with respect for the other person.
In Hebrew, peace is translated as “Shalom” and can be described as “health, prosperity, harmony and wholeness.” In Greek, “peacemakers” part of the word (poieo) is translated as “to do” or “to make.” Peace isn’t just a state of mind, but implies action. This instructs us to practice peace as an action, and therefore, implement it into our lives. We should be the ones to initiate peace, not just talk or wish it for our lives and relationships.
Being a peacemaker, we should display love to others and exemplify peace in all our relationships. We cannot control how others react or treat us, but we can do our part and show God’s love to others. If you encounter difficulty in a relationship, don’t let it be because of your behavior. We shouldn’t allow a ruptured relationship to occur from our offensive actions. We should do our part and show love, even when we don’t receive the same treatment in return.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Surprisingly, sometimes living as a peacemaker may actually cause more strife in a relationship. Peacemakers don’t wish to appease or conform to everyone’s wishes, but seek to live out their life for God. In today’s world it has become ever so difficult to live for God and still try to live at peace with others who are living for the world.
Peacemaking isn’t seeking to make everyone happy. It’s not choosing to agree with any opinion or whim to dodge a disagreement. It’s not the absence of conflict. It’s not avoiding problems because you desire things to remain stable. Instead, being a peacemaker means you seek to live in harmony with others and choose to resolve any relational issues in love, despite your differences with others.
Living as a peacemaker, we shouldn’t compromise peace in a relationship by living unrighteously. Living as a peacemaker may in fact cause additional conflict in our relationship with others, but as Christians, we should still show God’s love even amidst a severed relationship. When we are living for God and standing up for Him, we aren’t in the wrong, even if others don’t react in love and decide to display hostility us instead.
There will be times where you’ve done all that you can do, but peace is just not possible between both sides. You may do your part and exemplify peace in a situation, but maybe the other person just isn’t willing to do so. I can recall many moments as a Christian where others disliked my faith. People discouraged me from living a righteous life and it caused a rift in my relationship with that person. In many cases, the relationship was severed and no matter how hard I tried to seek peace, restoration wasn’t something they desired to continue with.
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 reap a harvest of righteousness.
3 steps to help you become a peacemaker
01. Seek God in prayer
Go to God first, before you seek others. Ask God to show you the other person’s needs and allow you see them through His eyes. Ask God to display any wrong actions, attitudes or selfishness that could be hindering your restoration in your relationships with others and seek forgiveness. Take a moment and surrender the situation that is causing conflict over to God and let Him work through it.
02. Desire restoration
Take initiative and display love to that person, and if necessary, ask for forgiveness from them, even if they are primarily the one that is in the wrong. Choose to attack the problem, seeking to restore the relationship, and not aim to accuse the person.
03. Refrain from defaming
This one can be tough, especially with those difficult relationships. The first thing we desire to do is tell someone how frustrated we are and seek to share what that person did to us. As peacemakers our duty isn’t to defame or speak negatively of others, but rather seek to restore. If restoration isn’t something that’s possible, we shouldn’t continue to spread negative remarks about that person, but still show God’s love despite your differences.
What does it mean to be “children of God?”
As we wrap up the verse, it closes with the phrase that “they will be called children of God.” As God’s children, we are included in God’s family. This means we share in His name and reputation. Just as we should aspire to have a “good name” we should also live out a life that would exemplify God and bring glory to Him. As Christians, we are sometimes people’s only physical interaction with God that they can see. Choose to display love and demonstrate peace in your relationships so others can see your heavenly Father through your heart. So, will you be a peacemaker today?