The ABC’s of Wisdom: Building Character with Solomon - Peacemaking
The Mark of the Children of God
There is deceit in the hearts of those who plot evil, but joy for those who promote peace.
A few years ago pollster George Gallup surveyed Americans on the top five questions they would most like to ask God. The list included the following question: “Will there ever be lasting world peace?”
It’s a fitting question to ask as we near the end of the bloodiest century in world history. More people have died in this century because of warfare than in any other since the dawn of the human race. As President Eisenhower once said, we have become a race of intellectual giants and moral pygmies. Despite our great technological advances, we continue to devise more efficient means of killing each other.
In this bloody world, peace must be made. Peace never happens by chance. Someone has to drag the combatants to the table and give them a reason to put down their arms. Jesus never said, “Blessed are the peacewishers or the peacehopers or the peacedreamers.” But He did say, “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9).
What is a peacemaker? Here’s a working definition: A peacemaker is someone who is actively working to reconcile men to God and to one another. He (or she) is a “minister of reconciliation” who has been given the “message of reconciliation” (see 2 Corinthians 5:18-21).
Please note that peacemaking is a spiral that begins close to home. It starts in your closest and most intimate relationships-between husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts. Then it moves out to your extended family-your close friends at church, on the job, and in the classroom. Only then does peacemaking move out to more remote relationships-in the village, the city, the state, the nation, and the world.
Peacemaking is not an easy business. It is costly, time-consuming, painful, and emotionally exhausting. Those who do it will often be misunderstood.
Our problem tends to be at the level of motivation. We know that peace is hard to make and even harder to keep. It’s usually easier to walk away from a problem. Why get involved in someone else’s difficulty? Or we try and are rebuffed or even attacked and criticized for our efforts. So we tend to despair and give up even before we get started.
But everyone can do something.
- You’ve got a telephone. Make a call.
- You’ve got paper. Write a letter.
- You’ve got a kitchen. Make a meal.
- You’ve got a billfold. Give some money.
- You’ve got two hands. Put them to work for others.
- You’ve got two feet. Go see a friend in pain.
- You’ve got two ears. Listen to the cries of the wounded.
- You’ve got two eyes. Lift them up to see the world as God sees it.
- You’ve got two lips. Preach the gospel of peace.
There is so much war, so much strife, so much pain in the world. That means there is plenty of work for you to do. Every tiny step receives God’s blessing.
How do you get involved in the world? Be a peacemaker!
What will you be called? A child of God!
Prince of Peace, make me an instrument of Your peace so that others will know that I am a child of God. Amen.
Why is peacemaking not a popular occupation? Name three situations where you could make a difference as a peacemaker. What hinders you from getting involved?