What Does it Mean to be a Peacemaker?

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Mathew 5:9

As we unwind the Beatitudes, correctly defining a “peacemaker” can be a challenge.  At least, it has been for me.  I’m not satisfied with most of the solutions that are offered.  My understanding of the other verses gave me what I thought should be something close to the answer, but I lacked a firm Biblical solution.

The passage that solves that dilemma is late in the same chapter.  I’ve recognized this several times.  Some while ago, I marked the word “peacemaker” beside the passage in black ink.  Only today, however, am I seeing how deeply this same passage defines the term.

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.”  But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your father in heaven
Matthew 5:43-45a

Allow me bring up a quick example of understandings of the term that I felt fell short.  In one, a missionary discusses the frequent incompatibility of being an evangelist and a peacemaker.  Then he goes on to discuss instances where the two efforts coexist.  To make this distinction, one has to view peacemaker in purely worldly terms.  It reduces the idea to resolving conflict.  Evangelism requires us to make people aware of their sinful, fallen state.  This often creates conflict.  Under this definition, the two are often at odds.

Biblically, being a peacemaker, is not that.

It is loving, blessing, doing good, and praying; and, specifically, it is doing so for those who would be your enemy.  There is nothing in that definition that runs contrary to the work of an evangelist.  In fact, we fall short when we fail to do good toward our enemies by warning them of their sinful state and the judgment to come.

Are your ready to be more of a peacemaker?  Take a look at Get Involved: How “Good Works” Work.