Scripture: Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Reflection: Peacemaking Versus Peacekeeping
By Jada Swanson
What is peace? Peace is not the absence of turmoil or conflict. Rather, it’s a sense of awareness and understanding, knowing that God is in control of all. It is maintaining a quiet confidence in the midst of the daily struggles of life, as well as breathing in and embracing tranquility in the middle sheer and utter chaos.
The Bible states that Christians should live peaceful lives, making every effort to live at peace with everyone. Unfortunately, throughout the centuries many who identify as Christ-followers have not followed biblical teachings in regards to peaceful living, misinterpreting peacekeeping for peacemaking.
Peacekeeping comes about through misguided, but well-intended personal efforts. To be honest, it requires a lot of work. Peacekeepers tend to smooth things over, avoiding conflict at all costs in order to keep everyone content and the relationship intact. However, this is nothing more than pseudo-peace, and instead of healing a relationship, it fractures it even more.
The Bible says nothing about peacekeeping, but instead calls us to be peacemakers. Peacemaking approaches conflict redemptively—working through real issues in order to discover a solution or a compromise. It requires having the necessary conversations, no matter how difficult. Sometimes, the best way to build peace is to embrace confrontation as uncomfortable as this may be.
Are you a peace-keeper or a peacemaker?
As Christ-Followers, we should not waste our time or energy with peacekeeping. Instead, we should strive with all that we are to be peacemakers, someone who continuously yields to God’s Spirit in them as a result of their relationship with Jesus. Let’s stop keeping peace and start making peace, not settling for pseudo-peace, but actively pursuing real peace –– God’s peace.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. — (Matthew 5:9)
The Call to Prayer
Search for the Lord and his strength; continually seek his face. — Psalm 105:4
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.