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Blessed are the Peace-fakers?
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9
People who use escape responses are usually intent on 'peace-faking,' or making things look good even then they are not. This is especially common in the church, where people are often more concerned about the appearance of peace than the reality of peace. Attack responses are used by people who are prone to 'peace-breaking.' They are more than willing to sacrifice peace and unity to get what they want.
Adapted from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict? by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 28.
Food for Thought
Being a peacemaker is difficult. There is no other way to honestly speak about it. It is hard, humbling, and sometimes humiliating work. But consider this: The peace that Christ achieved for us was hard. Jesus is described as a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief (Isa. 53:3). It was humbling. Jesus humbled himself to the point of death, even death on a cross (Phil. 2:8). And it was humiliating. Jesus endured the cross, despising the shame (Heb.12:2). All this was done so that peace, not just an appearance of peace, but the reality of peace would be achieved between God and human beings.
But believe it or not, being a peace-faker is difficult too. It takes a great deal of emotional energy to smile and wave or shake hands with someone at church when your heart is hardened against that person. Continuing to function in a civil manner alongside a co-worker who has wronged you can feel like splitting rocks in a prison camp. Tip-toeing around sensitive issues in your family while a dangerous current of anger and resentment boils beneath the surface can often make you physically sick inside. And what is the result of all this? The appearance of peace, but not the reality. For all of that time, and energy, and heartache, you end up with something that is not real.
Hebrews 12:3 says, "For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lost heart." Are you feeling weary? Yes, it's hard and yes, there is hostility, but consider Jesus and don't lose heart. With His strength and presence, it is doable. Remember, the goal is God's peace. And while it may not always be pretty, it's always real.
PeaceMeal is a publication of Peacemaker® Ministries. Copyright 2009. Reprinted with permission. To sign up for this free weekly e-mail publication, go to the Peacemaker Ministries Web site at www.Peacemaker.net.