The Path of the Peacemaker

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For quite some time, I have a burden in my heart to make peace… I have tried before. Sometime I succeeded, and it brought me joy. But I have also failed. ☹️ Peacemaking is not easy. It is no mean feat to be the peacemaking children of God. Look what Jesus did to reconcile us to God.

So what did I do as a peacemaker? First, I listened… to both sides. I listened without siding – to be neutral. It is basically about not putting more heat to the flame. But it is easier said than done. As I tried to put out the flame, I sometimes appeared to be siding with the enemy. I tried to put myself into each shoe – to understand where each side is coming from. Alas, my failure is I cannot make each one see the other side. I also cannot make them see their blind side.

I prayed. I asked for prayers. I have failed. I have also succeeded. I learned some hard truths along the way.

It takes three to make peace. The two parties and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit alone convicts and prods us to give up our pride. Pride is the hindrance to peace. I witnessed how two parties make peace when one is willing to be humble.

I’ve learned that peacemaking starts with me. I need to give up … give up my ‘right’ to defend myself. It is not easy to zip my mouth. My human nature – my sinful urge is to let it out and be done with it – it feels good only for that short instant but its hurt lasts a long time. So instead of letting the words out, I let the tears flow. Sometimes no tear at all… just anger or sadness or both. And where do these take me? Nowhere!

And so I swallow my pride. I say sorry – being specific about what I did wrong. I ask for forgiveness. What if my apologies were not accepted? I let go. I learn to be patient – it is hard. Waiting for peace is part of the peacemaking process. But it is not passive waiting. It is being intentionally actively patient. How?

I give up my hurt – even my need to be forgiven. It is not denying the hurt. It is acknowledging the pain but laying them down at the feet of Jesus. Jesus, heal my wound. Heal the wound of the one I hurt also. Take my pain, Lord and make me whole – seal the hole in my heart with your love. Help me to do better next time.

I learned that peace is what is in my heart. Peace that starts me letting go of the hurt, the anger, the sadness…the peace that is beyond understanding comes from the Holy Spirit. James speaks of wisdom that is peace-loving (James 3:17). It is noteworthy that James 3 begins with lesson on taming our tongue and ends the chapter with the profile of a peacemaker.

James 3:13-18
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

Are you at peace, my friend? Are you a peacemaker? Be a blessed child of God, make peace and live peace today. Shalom.

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