by Graham Mol
“Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.”
Matthew 5:9 NIV
During my Theological studies one of the courses that I took was on Conflict and Reconciliation. The primary text for the course was this amazing book, The Peace Maker by Ken Sande. In the preface of the book Sande has the following to say about Peacemakers:
Peacemakers are people who breathe grace. They draw continually on the goodness and power of Jesus Christ, and the they bring his love, mercy, forgiveness, strength, and wisdom to the conflicts of daily life. God delights to breathe his grace through peacemakers and use them to dissipate anger, improve understanding, promote justice, and encourage repentance and reconciliation.
One can fully understand why Jesus would say that peacemakers would be called children of God.
I remember how studying this book had a profound impact on my life as I faced issues of conflict that needed to be resolved. One of my assignments was to help advise someone with a conflict situation that they were facing and it’s really interesting reading my essay from back then. I am prompted to read through Ken Sande’s words again to remind myself of the wisdom that he shares on the topic of peace making.
I can say this with certainty. Peace making is hard. So often our responses to conflict lean either towards the fight or flight end of the scope. Ken Sande uses the following concept of The Slippery Slope to illustrate just how fine a balance it is to be a peace maker and not a “peace taker”.
The wonderful thing is that the Bible gives us all we need to know in order to be peacemakers and Jesus Himself through His love and the power of His Holy Spirit in us, empowers us to walk that narrow path.
The other thing that I can say with certainty is that peace making is one of the most powerful witnesses to the power of the Gospel to change lives. Jesus Himself is the mediator of the covenant between man and God, He is the one who gave of Himself to reconcile man to God. When we act as peacemakers we reflect His glory.
In my future blog posts I plan to share more of what I am learning from re-reading The Peace Maker for now I would like to leave you with the following questions:
- In what way do you naturally react to conflict? Do you tend to run from it or does it make you react or even overreact?
- Is conflict, current or past, affecting your peace? Take some time to place that conflict in Jesus’ hands asking Him to give you wisdom and strength to be a peacemaker and not a peace taker in that situation.