Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. [Matthew 5:9 ESV]
We desire freedom from conflict to pursue our interests without restraint or threat or failure. We long for peace to the point of ignoring conflict, hopelessly hoping conflict will go away or cease and no longer plague us or those who are ours. We even excuse irresponsibility and minor criminal acts which may cause unwanted conflict to maintain a tenuous peace. Underneath the desire for peace is a moral foundation and emotions designed by God to interpret and signal danger about those actions and attitudes which compromise our position before Him.
If we listened to the internal warning signs we would know why we have no peace, especially with God. Every fiber of our being screams out the reality of our separation from God. We are not at peace with Him and He will not give His peace unless we are morally right before Him.
Still , want peace at almost all costs because peace is the evidence of security and contentment. Whole institutions within governments and societies are built to promote peace. Law enforcement officers are trained to keep the peace. Envoys and ambassadors are sent to negotiate peace between peoples, and groups, and nations. Even our religious leaders espouse peace often falsely teaching we have peace with God.
Yet, there is no peace.
So, we look to “peacemakers” to help negotiate peace.
One of the worldly characteristics of a peacemaker is the ability to find compromise between those conflicted. Peacemakers are esteemed, lauded and showered with rewards and gifts, written about and remembered, at least for a short time.
One of the consequences of such worldly acclaim is the redefining and misinterpreting of what Jesus actually means by being a peacemaker. Those who are true peacemakers do not negotiate conflicts between individuals, find compromise between countries, bring together enemies and find compromises where both agree.
Peace is not lack of conflict but a place of rest before the One who has authority to judge. True peace has little to do with the world and everything to do with eternity. True peacemakers bring condemned sinners to the loving Judge of sin, who desires complete reconciliation and absolute obedience.
A peacemaker is someone who wants those created in the image of God to have peace with God. Once a person has peace with God they are changed. This does not mean they will have peace with those around them but that they have recognized sin, realized its consequences and abandon themselves to God, their Creator and Sustainer. They are changed and made His and begin hungering and thirsting for His righteousness, to do His will, as His servant.
They actively love Him, who actively loved them and showed His mercy to all through the sacrifice of His Son. They are selflessly loved by God and, in return, selflessly love God through the sacrifice of their obedience by selflessly loving those whom God loves. They are whole as God has made them and who is making them complete. Being a peacemaker is the final element found in the makeup of the spiritually whole citizen of the kingdom of God according to the teaching of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.
Where I have characterized mercy as active love and purity of heart as selfless love, a peacemaker is someone characterized by tough love. God will not allow anything of the world to compromise the peace of God. It is a spiritual state reflected through the life of the Christian to the world. The evidence of having peace with God confounds and convicts the world. It is an unshakeable demeanor which believes trusts and obeys God in the harshest of circumstances. Only those at peace with God will show the evidence of such a life.