Peacemakers in a World of Cynicism (iBelieve)

This is an excerpt from a featured article I recently wrote for Continue reading here.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

In my junior year of college, I took a class called Interpersonal Relationships. As a psychology major and an innate people person, I assumed I would coast through the semester, using lectures to complete other work. Each class leading up to the first exam, our professor warned us that the information we were learning seemed simple. It was the type of stuff you heard and thought, “well of course, I already knew that.” I heard her warnings and counted myself among the few who really did know it intuitively…until she passed back our first exam and it quickly became clear that my participation was going to require that I become less passive and more active.

For much of my life, I skimmed over Matthew 5:9 with a similar sense of apathy. Where I should have slowed down and dug in, I kept moving in search of the ‘deeper’ theology that would challenge my mind. To be a peacemaker seemed like a given, a natural byproduct of accepting Christ. It was all so simple…until it wasn’t. It was easy as long as it was passive, but when it became an action, something I was called to do, I realized there was nothing easy about it. Anyone can love peace, but to create peace is far from the fluffy, flower-power images I had in mind. It is bold and intentional and tender.

My children reflect me. The youngest physically resembles my family, specifically my grandfather; and while the oldest is the spitting image of my husband, much of his personality mirrors the extroverted, never-knew-a-stranger child I once was. As my children, they look like me.

Peacemakers will be called the children of God because their lives will reflect the character of God, just as children reflect the image of their parents. They will look like their Father. They don’t stop at loving peace. They put in the self-sacrificing work to make peace – just like their Father (John 3:16-17).

At our core, we know this is true, but we may skim past it too quickly, rather than allowing it to take deep root within us. Perhaps this is one of the discrepancies that led Mahatma Ghandi to say, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

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