Rejecting the Peacemakers

peacemaker

Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
(Matthew 5:9.)

Few people like to be out of sorts, let alone to be at odds with someone else, and even worse is feeling that the whole world is out to get you. There is no peace in any of that. Into these lives can come rancor or can come peace. Or perhaps you think just the absence of rancor would be welcome, and for a time it is, but is numbness truly a substitute for peace?

True peace is ruled by one person and one person alone: Jesus the Prince of Peace.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6.)

Is this why peacemakers will be called children of God, because they are delivering peace from the Ruler of Peace, the one who is also the Servant who Suffers, the one who was beaten and mocked and rejected?

He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
(Isaiah 53:3.)

Why do people reject Jesus’ peace if it is borne by one who knows our suffering? Because no matter how good it is, the world doesn’t understand it.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. (John 14:27.)

No one is immune from the temptation to rely on your own efforts rather than on Jesus. That’s what it means to be without peace: relying on your own ability (non-existent in the long run) to make peace with the world, with those who oppose you, with yourself. How can anyone have peace, let alone be a peacemaker? Must you be anxiety-free in order to help the anxious and battered people around you?

No.

The good news is that you do not need to achieve perfect peace in your life before you can be a peacemaker and be called a child of God. But you are to look to the source of all peace in your anxious and dis-peaceful moments. Here’s how:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7.)

Being at peace is not a prerequisite for turning to God with your requests but instead it is the God of peace who invites you to his side, to sit down in conversation with him, to talk with him about everything that is on your heart and on your mind. God will guard your heart and your mind – what you feel and what you think – in your anxious moments. This relationship you have with your Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace is what allows you to rejoice, and it can lead you to gentleness which you can show others.

There’s enough turmoil. There’s enough rancor. There’s enough picking fights and finding fault. In fact, there’s too much of all these things. No one can bear it forever.

But there can never be too much gentleness. Don’t worry that you will run out as you share it with others and make it “evident to all.” Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit of Christ, who is the limitless source of all that is a blessing in your life. You may be the instrument God uses to bring peace into someone’s life today.

What of those who reject your efforts, as some will? Simply put, there are people who will reject the peacemakers in their lives. These people need peacemakers the most.

And remember, if you are rejected you’re merely a child of God following in the footsteps of the Son of God himself.

***

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2 Responses to Rejecting the Peacemakers

  1. So many good points in this post, Tim. You’re right: there can never be too much gentleness, or too much peace. And we can’t worry about whether our efforts will be rejected. Sometimes they will be, but in spite of that I think it is always worth trying to make peace.

    • Tim says:

      So true, Jeannie, it is always worth trying. As Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” How others respond is up to them.

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