When I mention that I tend to be a peacemaker, I often get advice such as:
Don’t let people walk all over you.
You need to stand up for yourself.
You need to practice some self-care.
While these things may be true… sometimes. I think we often get mixed up in this stew of modern culture that tells us:
Do what makes you happy.
Live for yourself.
Sacrifice has become a negative word in our society. It’s okay to sacrifice if it makes you happy, just not if it makes you uncomfortable? That just doesn’t make good gospel sense.
Peacemaking is uncomfortable work. It’s giving up what you want in the moment to serve the best interest of peace.
We are called to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, not say “My way or the highway”. Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. To sacrifice His life so that we may be in relationship with the Father. What will we give up to be in relationship with those around us? What we will give up to maintain peace?
- Having the last word?
- Always being right?
- Perfectionist tendencies? *OUCH*
- Inability to be flexible?
In the book The Screwtape Letters, the demon Wormwood receives instruction from his Uncle Screwtape on how to manage his “patient”. This section pertains to family:
“When two human have lived together for many years, it usually happens that each has tones of voice and expressions of face which are almost unendurable irritating to the other. Work on that. Bring fully into the consciousness of your patient the particular life of his mother’s eyebrows which he learned to dislike in the nursery, and let him think how much he dislikes it.”
How often do we get offended in family or church life and don’t make peace? We chalk it up to our personality or bad temper. We play the blame game.
Here’s my question- How can we minster to the world if we can’t keep the peace in our own homes? Or in our church body?
Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.– Ephesians 5: 21
We are to be courteous to one another. Peacemakers.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.- Romans 12:18
If you’re naturally a peacemaker, go YOU. If you aren’t, find one and make friends. You could learn a thing or two from a peacemaker.