“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9. One of the most challenging parts of being a Christian is fulfilling the commands of Jesus Christ to be peacemakers. Colossians 3:15 talks about the attitudes Christians should have: “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts since as members of one body you were called to peace.”
Other religious systems have either assumed a passive attitude or a militant, aggressive stance. Christ called His followers to be active, non-militant, promoters of peace. One natural tendency of humans is to try to force their will on others. This has led to perversions of Christianity, as seen in the Crusades and the use of violence to oppose perceived wrongs today. It has also led to the endorsement of cultural traditions rather than Christ’s teachings as a guide to morality.
Much of the New Testament teachings have to do with being peacemakers. Consider these:
* Understand that all humans are of equal value:
1 Corinthians 12:13- We are “all given one Spirit to drink.”
Galatians 3:26-28- We are “all one in Christ Jesus.”
1 Corinthians 9:22- Paul says that he had “become all things to all men…”
Regardless of sex, race, culture, nationality, age, occupation, or even religious faith, we all have incredible worth.
* Accept Christians who have a conscientious difference of opinion:
Romans 14 is a whole chapter on peace. Verses 1-4 talk about accepting people with different opinions about food. Verses 5-6 speak about people who want to honor special days. Verse 19 tells Christians to “follow after the things which make for peace, and things by which we can edify one another.”
* Separate the physical from the spiritual:
Matthew 22:21- Finds Jesus telling his followers to separate what is Caesar’s (the physical) from what is God’s (the spiritual).
Romans 12:15-21- Repeats the teachings of Christ in Matthew 5-7, giving specific advice on how to live as people who are called to peace.
* Be ministers of reconciliation and peace:
Philippians 4:2- Paul pleads with Christians to help sisters in conflict by bringing the spiritual into focus.
Acts 10:34-36- Peter tells us to understand that God is no respecter of persons and that Christians must tell the world “the good news of peace through Christ Jesus.”
Matthew 25:32-40- The judgment scene shows Christians being acceptable to God because of their activities which promoted peace.
Romans 5:1- As Christians, we have peace with God.
Matthew 5-7- Tells us what Jesus calls us to do so we can have that peace.
“Blessed are the peacemakers.” We are called to peace so we can shine in a world of violence, hatred, and war. With God’s help, we can have an attitude that brings joy and happiness while an angry, violent world swirls around us.
— John N. Clayton © 2020