There are peacemakers and there are peace breakers. God calls us to be peacemakers in a world of conflict. Let me give you some Scriptures to remind you of the importance and blessing of peace.
A. Called to Peace
God has called you to peace. (1 Corinthians 7:15)
If you belong to Jesus Christ this is your calling. God calls you to contribute to the peace of your family: Picture your father, mother, brother, sister, son or daughter. They are your family.
They may love each other dearly, they may be at each other’s throats. They may not be speaking to each other—whatever it’s like, God calls you to contribute, to the best of your ability, to the peace of your family. Whether it’s dysfunctional or happy, you are called by God to be an influencer towards making it better.
It’s the same in the church: As a member of the congregation, God calls you to contribute to its peace. That’s not an option; it is a calling from God Himself. The same is true at work, in the community, in a restaurant. Wherever you are, whatever you do, God has called you to peace.
B. Plan for Peace
Those who plan peace have joy. (Proverbs 12:20)
Since this is the calling of God, we should be intentional about pursuing it: Plan peace! Where we don’t have it, as a Christian we should be asking: What’s the best way to get it? Where we do have it, we should be asking: How can we protect it? How do we make sure we don’t lose this peace?
What is peace? In the Bible, the word “shalom” (or peace) is more than the absence of conflict. It is the active enjoyment of all that is good. As I think about what I say and what I do, I should be asking this question: What would promote peace?
What would promote the greatest wholeness and health in my family, church, colleagues, neighbors and friends? I should plan for that, plot it, hatch schemes for it. Plan peace! Those who plan peace have great joy!
C. Work for peace
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14)
Peacemakers don’t stop with plans—they plan the work and they work the plan. The word “strive” indicates effort, hard work, and perseverance. There’s a reason why it’s the seventh beatitude, it’s the summit.
What It Means to Be a Peacemaker
Peacemakers are people who bring peace to others, because they have it themselves. But, how do you get peace?
Peace in your heart flows from purity in your life. Notice the order: “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God” (5:9). There’s a direct connection:
The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable. (James 3:17)
First pure, then peaceable—there is an order there. Peace of heart flows from purity of life. Why? Purity of heart is to “will one thing.”
The person who wills one thing is a person who can be at peace. The impure person has a heart that is fundamentally divided. He or she wants two contradictory things at the same time. As long as that unresolved conflict rages there is no peace.
That’s why the Bible says, “There is no peace for the wicked” (Isaiah 57:21). The wicked cannot have peace because they do not have purity.
Peace flows from purity, so the more you pursue purity the more you will discover and enjoy peace in your heart.