Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9
By nature, I am a confrontational person. As I’ve gotten older, I would consider myself to be less confrontational than I was as a child and teenager. I attribute some of this to maturity–I’ve learned that not all battles are worth fighting. Unfortunately, though, I believe some of my softening has come from fear of man. The older you get, it seems, the more you have to lose.
With age should certainly come temperance and discernment, but there are times when confrontation is necessary and beneficial.
We have a chronic problem in our generation of redefining, or rather wrongly defining, words. What is peace? What does it mean to live peaceably? Does it mean to never argue? To lie in order to avoid conflict?
For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. Colossians 1:19-20 (emphasis added)
Jesus made peace through the blood of His cross to reconcile all things to Himself. People often ask, “Why couldn’t God simply decree everyone to be forgiven? Why did Jesus have to die?” God is holy and it is against His very nature to be with sinners–He could not decree all to be forgiven. He couldn’t simply keep the peace. He had to make peace through the death of His Son. The price had to be paid in order to reconcile us to Himself.
Praise God that He didn’t think our sin wasn’t any of His business and that He didn’t leave it up to us to figure out what to do about it. He entered in and made right what was once wrong. He confronted our sin. In the Old Testament, the Israelites were required to present peace offerings to God. Peace through sacrifice.
There are relationships in my life that are peaceful according to the world’s standards, but they are superficial and would hardly stand under fire. Jesus tells us in John 14 that He doesn’t give peace as the world gives. Are their relationships in your life that are lacking true peace? What sacrifices will it take to create peace in those relationships? It may feel like it’s not worth it, but it is always worth it to fear God above man and to value eternal things over temporal things. This world will pass away, but God and His Word will stand forever. I’m praying that God will give me and others the courage and faith to be peacemakers and not peacekeepers.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever. Isaiah 40:8
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27
These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. John 16:33
If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Romans 12:18
For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. Romans 14:19
And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:18
For, “The one who desires life, to love and see good days,
Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.
He must turn away from evil and do good;
He must seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous,
And His ears attend to their prayer,
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:10-12