“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God” (Mt 5:9). Apart from the gospel of grace, being a peacemaker is a job you do not want. It’s horrible.
Why? When two parties are not at peace with one another there is a strong disagreement between them. Each feels they are right and the other is wrong. And the issue is so important and the feelings so strong that the relationship is broken. Often it is more than simply a broken relationship, there is animosity and hostility.
Enter the peacemaker. Into division, hostility, bitterness, strife and anger. It is hard to keep peace, but it is exponentially more difficult to bring peace where there is none.
And in this situation – what is the role of the peacemaker? To begin with he enters as neither parties friend. Then he attempts to help them see where they are wrong, where they need to act differently as a result of their convictions, or where they need to change their convictions, feelings, objectives, etc. Usually each party in some way has to change and not get their own way. They have to give up being totally right. Often each party feels like they lost…at least to a degree.
And so the peacemaker leaves as neither parties’ hero. They leave lonely, isolated and friendless. And then here comes the grace of God eliminating their aloneness – reminding them of their true identity as sons of God and that they are a part of the ultimate family. And even better than that – they are reminded that God is their Father!
Being a peacemaker is not a standard we have to live up to to be blessed. It is a reminder that as we live in the world as representatives of the ultimate peacemaker, we will experience the same treatment Jesus did. And as we experience rejection and at times hostility, God’s comes to us in our frustration and loneliness and blesses us just as we are.
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