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  • East Martin CRC

Peacemaking or Peacekeeping

James 3:13-18

Verse 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

James has just given us a list of things that will reveal the wisdom of God in our lives. He doesn’t stop there though, he gives us one more point about godly wisdom that should help us in life.

Peacemaking is not a popular thing these days, but peacekeeping is. So what is the difference between them and does it matter which one we are? As we have said before, words are not used frivolously in Scripture and so we know that if it is in there He has a reason.

There are various times that the Bible talks about peacemaking but only once is there a reference referring to a form of peace keeping. We will get to the peace keeping verse later but let’s talk about what it means to be a peacemaker. Jesus spoke about being a peacemaker and the benefits of being one in His sermon on the mount in the portion called the beatitudes (Matthew 5:9). He said that those who are peacemakers are blessed because they will be called the children of God.

While we may act like we know what it means to be peacemakers we don’t give the weight to the word that it requires. Peacemaking is more of an intentional action word than we would like to think. Many of us don’t like being in conflicts, in fact some of us avoid them at all costs, but if we are being honest with ourselves we can’t be peacemakers if we avoid them. No, to be a peacemaker we need to be intentional about how we handle conflict so that peace is the end result if at all possible.

Now it isn’t always possible to make peace. In fact there are times that peace isn’t to be desired such as with things that are evil. There will be times that peace can’t be attained for various reasons, but it should never be due to a lack of effort on our part. In fact that is what brings us back to peace keeping and the danger of it.

The only verse in the Bible that speaks of peace with the thought of keeping it is Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Notice that it is God keeping us in perfect peace and only when we keep our thoughts fixed on Him not our working at keeping the peace. The truth is that peacekeeping is dangerous to our faith as it often causes us to compromise the truth and wisdom we have from God.

Making It Personal

Are you a peacemaker or a peacekeeper? How do you sow peace? What relationship do you need to be intentional about being a peacemaker in?

Making It Personal Kids

What does it mean to make peace? Do you wish others would make peace with you? How do you think you can be a peacemaker?

Closing Prayer

Father, we confess that this is one of the ways that we have not been as faithful to You and Your truth as we should have been. Give us the wisdom and strength to make peace as needed. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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