Happy Are the Peacemakers – May 7, 2021

Conflict seems to be the fare of the day. Turn on any tv news station and you are lambasted with conflict. If the news is not about some conflict taking place in the world, then the news personality is creating conflict with other viewpoints. Further, we all experience conflict on a regular basis: Social conflict, relational conflict, spiritual conflict, personal conflict. Sadly, in many cases Christians have led the charge in the conflict. The old saying goes that if you want to see a good fight, go to a church business meeting.

But Christ presents another way. He informs us that it is the peacemakers that are happy: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). The path to joy and satisfaction in life is to pursue peace. As a result, pursuing peace is a command from God twice stated in Scripture (Psalm 34:14; 1 Peter 3:11). Yet, this is easier said than done. We live in a society which promotes self and one’s own ideas. This leads to conflict when others do not promote me or agree with my ideas. Thus, it is important to understand that peace is intricately tied with righteousness. As I draw closer to God in righteousness, humility results and I value peace. My ideas and self take a back seat to God’s commands and agenda. This is why the Psalmist declared, “Righteousness and peace kiss each other” (Psalm 85:10). To be true peacemakers, we must seek to walk in righteousness. The writer of Hebrews exhorts us, “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).

However, this peace does not come at the expense of truth. Peacemaking does not mean that we avoid conflict at all costs. Righteousness cannot be realized without truth. When we fail to stand for truth, we fail in righteousness. Yet this stand for truth must be done in a gracious way, keeping the commands of God free from reproach (1 Timothy 6:14). We speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).

Christian, are you a person that loves peace or conflict? Some people are described as “great to have beside you in a battle but terrible to have beside you in peace” because they seem to thrive in conflict and seek it out. Instead, we are to seek peace and pursue it. For it is the peacemakers that are happy.