Thursday, November 21, 2013

Peace Keeping vs Peace Making - Matthew 5:9

Ok.  We actually talked about this last night in Bible study.  I will probably shamelessly steal some of the comments of the members of the group and add them to my own.  Unfortunately, I have way too much experience with this particular conflict.  I have to pretty unsuccessful marriages that have taught me about the important difference between these two ideas.  First, let me start by stating clearly that the devil is a peace keeper, and Jesus is a peace maker.  Now I need to flesh these two terms out, so that you will know where I am going with this.

Let me start with a peace keeper.  A peace keeper will do whatever it takes to not make waves.  They think they are being agreeable and caring, but they are not doing anything like that.  A peace keeper is self-centered.  They have a natural aversion to conflict.  They find it uncomfortable.  When they think in their own minds that they are being loving toward their partner, they are actually placing their own need for comfort ahead of their partner.  They would never point out their partners flaws for fear of making waves.  They will bite their tongue even if speaking would be to their partners or another's long-term good.  A peace keeper is continually wearing a mask.  They are afraid their own true feelings would cause strife and discord, so they push those feelings down and put on a happy face.  A peace keeper may believe that they are happy, but they always feel uncomfortable and unhappy because they are never free to be themselves.  If they were to be themselves then they risk discord and possible rejection from those around them.  They live in a state of constant fear that they will be exposed and their own true feelings will be revealed.  A peace keeper can never allow their true feelings be completely revealed.  A peace keeper may hint at how they really feel, but they will never come out and say exactly what may be bothering them.  A peace keeper believes that by holding back that they have brought harmony to their lives.  The truth is that a peace keepers world is always has a storm brewing underneath.  A peace keeper is always holding back a part of themselves.  They can never really be known by those around them.  A peace keepers life will be marked by a seemingly lack of conflict and genuine agreeableness.  A peace keeper will never be able to connect with a person in a relationship in any real and meaningful way.  There is nothing genuine about a peace keeper.  Their words can not be trusted to be how they may really feel about things.

Now I will start to describe a peace maker.  A peace maker will more than likely experience a greater amount of strife in their personal relationships.  Peace making can be a very dirty business.  A peace keeper has an outward focus to those around him.  He will endure the discomfort for the benefit of others.  A peace maker is able to achieve a level of vulnerability that a peace keeper can never dream of.  He is able to be completely honest.  He doesn't have to fear that he will be exposed.  He has not hidden anything at all.  A peace maker may have to make a lot of waves.  A peace keeper is willing to rock the boat.  A peace keeper will speak the truth in love.  A peace keeper say what is on their mind even if they may face rejection or conflict.  A peace keeper is completely open and honest about who they are, and their own opinions.  They don't pretty things up for the sake of appearances.  A peace keeper is able to be themselves, and able to allow others to know what they think.  A peace maker allows others to hold whatever opinion they may like about them.  A peace maker is confident in their judgements and does not look to others to validate their decisions.  A peace maker is free to be wrong.  They allow themselves to be vulnerable and can accept with they may be wrong.  A peace maker will be able to connect with others around him in a real way.  They can be completely open about who they are, and be ok with the exposure.  A peace maker may have to get their hands dirty.  Peace makers may not appear to have a peaceful life, but they have been able to achieve a level of inner peace that a peace keeper could only dream of.  A peace maker will be valued by their friends and family for their truth and genuineness.

"Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called the sons of God."  God has a special place in his heart for peace makers.  Jesus said that they shall be called sons of God.  The only way to have a real and authentic connection to God is to completely open.  A peace maker will be willing to tell God how they really feel.  If you look through the Psalms, you will begin to see David as a peace maker.  Here is a guy that is willing to tell God anything.  He tells God when he is pleased with him, and he even tells God when he is angry with him.  David was described as a man after God's own heart.  That openness can flow right into our human relationships.  If we are able to be open with God, then why would we need to put on a show for others.  Being fully known by God allows you to find your validation in him.  If you have found your validation in God, then you are going to care less and less about what others think about you.  Remember what I mention before, in God we are fully known and delighted in.

All Christians should seek to be peace makers in their lives.  If we wanted to be known as children of God, then it almost seems like an imperative.  I would say from my own life, that I would say that it is even more important for Husbands and Fathers to be peace makers.  If you look at the Garden.  When Eve was being deceived by the serpent and Adam was standing right beside her, what would have happened if Adam had chosen that moment to be a peace maker.  He had been willing to speak truth to the lies, then where would we be today.  If I had been willing to be a peace maker in my own life, then I doubt I would be sitting here in this apartment alone.  There is an intimacy involved with peace making, that can never be fully realized when we seek to keep the peace.  We are seeking that those around us should fully know use.  No one needs to guess what we really think or really feel, because we have place all our cards on the table.  Regardless of where I go from here, I know that in order for me to be truly happy and to have a rewarding life I need to seek to make the peace.  The truth is that if you worry too much about rocking the boat, then you may wake up one day and realized someone has stolen your boat!

 

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