“But the wisdom that comes from God is first of all pure, then peaceful, gentle, and easy to please. This wisdom is always ready to help those who are troubled and to do good for others. It is always fair and honest. People who work for peace in a peaceful way plant a good crop of right-living.” James 3:17-18 NCV
There are two basic types of peacemakers.
The first type is the problem-oriented peacemaker who tries to resolve conflicts by helping two parties reach a satisfactory agreement. They negotiate, diffuse tension and push compromise until both parties reach a consensus. Basically, it focuses on the resolution of the problem, and generally produces a short-term result until the next problem arises, much like arbitrating a truce between two toddlers fighting over the same toy.
The second type of peacemaker is one who focuses on the people more than the problem itself. He delves under the surface of people’s lives to explore the issues that lie at the root of the problem. By helping both parties to understand why they feel as they do and to give them the means and opportunity to change how they feel, he facilitates a more lasting solution. This type of peacemaking addresses heart issues so that when peace reigns in a person’s heart, it will show in the way they treat others.
Spiritually speaking, Christ is the second type of peacemaker. He is more interested in changing people’s lives, their thinking and their actions than he is in helping us to reach a compromise. He offers us a more difficult, intimate solution – that of facing the unrest of our own hearts, forgiving those who have wronged us and allowing Him to cleanse, heal and renew our inner man. Only when we allow Him to work in us can we move on to build strong, loving relationships with others around us.
Change my heart Lord so that I might experience your peace and spread it wherever I go. Amen.