Blessed are the Peacemakers

Author’s note: I did this piece one year ago today. Seems appropriate to bring it back.

Unless you live in a cave (or even if you do), it’s not hard to look around and realize that this world desperately needs peacemakers.

That statement is nice and easy to say, and very true. But in a practical sense, how does one become a peacemaker? How do we do it?

The first step, it would seem, is to be careful, confident and precise with our message to others. We must pronounce that true peace is found only in Jesus Christ, and that He is in no sense a political issue.

Advocates of both major political parties will present themselves and their causes as the only proper choice for the believing Christian voter, so let’s be clear. If you remember nothing else about this essay, remember this: Jesus is neither Democrat or Republican, and He is not the ideological property of either side.

Our job, in His name, is to bring bickering camps together, helping those involved see that they are far more alike than different. We are children of the same God. We want our children and grandchildren to grow up and thrive in a safe world that honors the idea that no one person or group is better than the other, regardless of whatever man-made division you wish to bring up.

Of course, we will have differences of opinion with our neighbor. There’s nothing wrong with that. But a peacemaker will sit down with an opponent, calmly discuss points of contention, and walk away friends, even if the disagreement still exists.

A peacemaker will engage in honest effort to learn about the position and feelings of the person he/she disagrees with, or is simply unfamiliar with. My daughter recently referred me to the book “We are Not Yet Equal” by Carol Anderson, which has given me a better understanding of racial tensions in this country.

A peacemaker isn’t afraid to listen and learn. A peacemaker does not assume he/she knows everything there is to know about a controversial topic.

One thing a peacemaker does not do– I see far too much of this on social media and some television stations– is resort to name-calling and personal attacks on the character of someone in the opposing camp. This behavior is childish, and should be avoided by anyone calling themselves Christian. Read James 4:11-12. Read it again before you post anything.

Bottom line. You and I and every believer throughout the world are the hands, feet, eyes and ears of Christ on earth. It is our responsibility to spread the peace of Jesus everywhere, showing no hate for those who oppose us, but loving and praying for them as we work toward a better tomorrow.

Peacemakers do that, and as we have been told, they are blessed.

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