Are you a peacemaker?
And anyway, if you were a peacemaker, what would that look like?
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9)
As I was thinking about this passage, I realized that God is a peacemaker. In fact, He is the greatest peacemaker ever.
God created a perfect world. He created perfect people to live in the perfect world. They had a perfect life.
Until sin entered the picture.
And then the world erupted into chaos. Next thing they knew, Adam and Eve’s oldest son killed his brother. Things only went downhill from there.
So Jesus, the Prince of Peace, came to earth to be a peacemaker.
Therefore remember that once you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “uncircumcision” by that which is called “circumcision”, (in the flesh, made by hands); that you were at that time separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off are made near in the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition, having abolished in his flesh the hostility, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man of the two, making peace; and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, having killed the hostility thereby. He came and preached peace to you who were far off and to those who were near. (Ephesians 2:11-17)
This is why, when we ourselves are peacemakers, that God calls us His children: we are acting like our Father.
How are we to make peace?
I have just returned from a conference on sexual abuse. It was an excellent experience, and I would highly recommend it to others, even if, like me, you have never been sexually abused.
Abuse is the opposite of peace. Unfortunately, there is a lot of it in our world–and in the church. You probably sat in church today, surrounded by victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and spiritual abuse. Sadly, you were probably also sitting in the company of perpetrators of this abuse. Everybody looks normal. Nobody was wearing a shirt saying “Abuse Victim”, and nobody was wearing a shirt that said “Abuser”.
Yet, according to statistics, 20.5% of the people in your church could be sexual abuse victims. These people do not just “get over” their abuse. The wounds linger for years, for life, especially if the victims are silenced and unable to find healing. And they have a lot of nasty results.
It’s time that people stand up and start being peacemakers by bringing peace into the lives of those tormented by abuse. By protecting innocent children, teens, and even adults from sexual predators. By confronting sin and exposing it. By turning predators in to the police instead of giving them a slap on the wrist and sending them back into the church to abuse more people.
You know, it cost Jesus a lot to be a peacemaker. In order to bring peace, He had to die a cruel death. It only stands to reason that, if we follow in His footsteps and become peacemakers, it will cost us something as well. People will misunderstand, take offense, wonder why we’re so concerned. It’s probably not a coincidence that the next Beatitude is “Blessed are those who are persecuted”.
But that’s okay. Because God is blessing us.
I want to make it clear that peacemaking is not limited to standing up against sexual abuse, nor is it limited to “social justice” topics. It could be as simple as solving a quarrel between two little children, or apologizing to someone you have offended. Find out how God wants you to make peace.
And then you are blessed, for you will be called one of God’s children.