Is it still possible to be a peacemaker in a world of conflict?
Imagine a world where no one actively sought to create peace. That “what if” scenario might be closer to reality than we’d like to admit.
In a time when social media has given a megaphone to the masses, the responsibility for peacemaking is shifting from a few prominent figures to the collective efforts of individuals. The age of singular peacemakers like Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Teresa may be evolving into an era where many people work together to influence positive change.
The task ahead is indeed substantial, but in the pursuit of justice and reconciliation, we recognize that God often works through people. The Beatitudes in Matthew chapter 5 exemplify this principle.
However, if the church, or any group for that matter, cannot lead the way in effective communication and constructive engagement, who will step up to fill this vital role?
Peacemakers are not individuals who shy away from issues or attempt to smooth things over without addressing the underlying problems. They willingly place themselves in the midst of conflict and guide others toward enduring truths:
- God is committed to justice.
- God cares about every daughter and son.
- God’s kin(g)dom is multicultural, cross-cultural and inter-cultural
Being a peacemaker entails a willingness to lay down personal desires, opinions, and the need to be right. While most people in comfortable circumstances may not face physical danger for their beliefs, being willing to relinquish the need to be right is a form of self-sacrifice.
To be a peacemaker means putting the well-being of others ahead of oneself, serving others in the process. If you are not willing to set aside personal preferences, discomfort, and self-righteousness, you may not truly be serving as a peacemaker. Yet, it’s never too late to change, as we serve a God of resurrection and redemption. We can ask for transformation in this area.
Being a peacemaker also involves actively seeking to mend the broken and hurting aspects of our world. You might think, “But I’m just one person. What can I do? Nobody listens to me.” However, you have influence or at least the potential for influence in your immediate circle – among family, co-workers, church members, your online network, and anywhere else you engage regularly.
The power of the Body of Christ is that it’s not about individual voices. We are not alone in this endeavor; we are part of a vast community of believers around the world. If each of us engages with those in our sphere of influence, we can collectively spread the message of love, care, and dignity.
Our opportunity to influence others is never greater than when we become a voice that values the dignity of every person, refuses to take sides in arguments, and instead champions love and compassion – as Jesus did.
Peacemaking isn’t meant to be easy, for meaningful change often requires effort. But Christians have chosen to embrace the challenging path, following a Messiah who invited us to take up our cross and walk alongside Him.
In a world rife with conflict, it’s evident that we could use a billion peacemakers. As a person filled with the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, you can unquestionably be one of them.
Remember that Jesus never instructed us to love a cause or religion. His message was simple: love God and love people. Let us be the peacemakers the world so desperately needs.