The Difference Between Peacemaking and Peacekeeping

Published on 27 October 2023 at 07:24

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God”

-Matthew 5:9


“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ.”

-Ephesians 4:15


There is a difference between peacemaking and peacekeeping. Peacemaking for Christians means that we are working to put back together what was broken in the garden; to bring back to relational order what God had always designed. While we will never see that perfection in this world, God calls us to mirror Christ’s image in order to reveal to others the kind of love that is so unfamiliar to those hardened hearts. We are called to speak the truth (God’s word and the gospel) and we are called to do it with a loving tone. We aren’t shouting scripture at unbelievers because we put ourselves on a pedestal, or even because we want them to repent from sin. This means that we come alongside them, where they are, and encourage them to grow into a more Christ like image. Ephesians 4:11-12 tells us that that God gave his people the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip GOD’S PEOPLE for GOD’S WORK. Spreading Christ’s message was never meant to be for the professionals. They are simply tools and vessels for the Holy Spirit to move and grow the Kingdom of God. If we keep this in mind, it is clear that we are all moving in the same direction, regardless of where we are in our relationship with the Lord. Whether you’ve known Him since you were 6 or 60, we are all continually growing as individuals Christ, and must remember to treat others with the same care, tenderness, and still, conviction, that we ourselves need.

Peacemaking for Christians also means that we are not maintaining a level of comfort by keeping the status quo. Jesus wasn't afraid to step on toes, so we shouldn't be either. Jesus was so comfortable with causing discomfort, and I think that is beautiful because He did it in such a loving way. He didn't shy away from confrontation, and He surely didn't run from a challenge. He faced daunting situations head on and in love because He knew His father had His hand over them. Jesus knew His purpose wasn't to become the most influential leader of the time (with an eternal perspective, yes, He essentially would be, but certainly not in the way the world expected Him to be). We should not be fearful of the uncomfortable, because it's not by our own strength that God expects His Kingdom to grow anyways, but by the Holy Spirit's strength. 

This being said, your belief in God should come before your belief in leaders, pastors, and the spiritually "called". Even the most well intentioned leaders are still human, and have fallenness written in their DNA. In Numbers 13, twelve men were chosen by Moses after God's command to scout out the promised land of Canaan. But when they returned, they claimed it was too strong and could never be conquered by them. They were scared, because they thought the promised land was THEIRS for the taking by THEIR strength, and forgot to believe in God's original promise and eventual might. 

So they spread the lie, and soon all of the people forgot Gold based on the fear of the "leaders". We have to remember to go to Him first; to remember what He has done so that we can discern what is true about Him, and what is untruth. Untruth rooted in disbelief but proclaimed with a big voice or from a tall stage can sound reliable when we forget who is really on the throne.

So let us remember Him. Let us seek Him first, so that all that we reflect to others is a love fueled by truth that moves hearts. This kind of movement is undeniable when there is an authenticity, sincerity, and genuine care that can only be fruit of the Holy Spirit. Let us be unrecognizable to this world. Let our tone and choice of words sound foreign to those who even speak our language. Let the love and care of Christ speak for itself.



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