Peace like a river. That was the song I sang as a child.
I’ve got peace like a river
I’ve got peace like a river
I’ve got peace like a river in my soul.
Deep in my soul, I wanted this peace.
Peace has been an ever-moving target at many points in my life. But I don’t just want to feel the peace, down in my soul, I want to be a peace-giver, a peacemaker.
And as believers, this is what God has called you and I to do.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Matthew 5:9, ESV
In a world of shouting, in a world of proving rightness and superiority, what would it look like if we stepped out as peacemakers?
Instead of making sure all men knew we were right, what if we made sure everything was right between us and all men?
What if we were dedicated to not just living rooted in the Prince of Peace, but to truly being peacemakers, we need be willing to sacrifice ourselves to the same, hard peacemaking road that Christ exemplified.
Because peace, it doesn’t look like flowery conversations, but like a bloody cross. Wrongdoings don’t disappear simply because we wish they would – they are absorbed.Because peace, it doesn’t look like a flowery conversations, but like a bloody cross. Wrongdoings don’t disappear simply because we wish they would - they are absorbed. Click To Tweet
On the Cross, Christ did not simply ignore or gloss over our sin, He engaged with it in the most personally painful way possible. Instead of showing us our error and His superiority as a way of shutting us up, He showed us our error and His perfect holiness then offering up His holiness on our behalf to restore our relationship with Him.
That is the hard work of peacemaking. Peacemaking is caring more about making right than being right, even, or perhaps most of all, when it hurts us.
Being a peacemaker means we are really to actually engage with the problem.
True peacemakers don’t seek artificial peace, but engage with genuine problems. We need to confront sin and seek to restore broken relationships. Instead of doing this out of selfish desire, we need to humbly seek to restore truly, Biblical relationships. Biblical relationships that are modeled after Christ are relationships that seek to serve, rather than to be served.
Peacemakers do not ignore problems by pretending they aren’t there, but by acknowledging them and seeking to forgive and reconcile.
Peacemakers sacrifice themselves for true peace.
Like Christ, true peacemakers embrace the wounds they carry rather then inflict them on others. Instead of harboring resentment or inflicting revenge, they bear the pain of the problem so that the cycle ends and relationships can be mended.
If we want to be a people marked by peace, we need to be a people who center their lives around the Prince of Peace and then live in the same manner in which He did – through personal sacrifice.
The peacemakers are the ones who are willing to give up personal comfort for relational healing.
Can we be those people? Instead of seeking to assert our rights, can we fight for wholeness?
Can we love by giving up what we are owed for the sake of another? Can we, not overlook wrongs because they are insignificant, but acknowledge them, choose forgiveness, and move on because those around us are worth it?
Peace like a river, peace that flows through our soul, comes only from Christ. We experience peace because of His work on the cross, the work that restores our relationship with Him. This peace flows out of us when we follow in His steps and extend peace to those around us.
So let’s be people marked by peace.
If you haven’t yet, join in my free 10 Days to Peace course here.