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What does it mean to be a peacemaker?
What does blessed really mean?
Now I often hear people say, “I am blessed” and really want to believe that it is all about being grateful. However, it is often a way of saying “I am superior to you because…” Sometimes we confuse blessedness with personal happiness, a status we have earned, or a position of privilege.
The point is that living the life of a peacemaker brings blessedness to the community or family of nations as a whole. We do it for others and not for ourselves.
The Path to Becoming A Peacemaker
There are three “C’s” that characterize the life of a peacemaker.
- Civility. The essence of civility is seen in an ability to contain our prejudices, curb our aggressive impulses, show courtesy by observing basic social protocol, and choose to see the essence of another’s humanity. As our mothers taught us, “will it really hurt you to say please and thank you?” So despite our impulses to be angry at others we act with kindness until we become more kind ourselves.
- Contribution. Peacemaking does stuff. I don’t wait until people are decent to me (more often they will never respond in kind). I give to others because that is the person I want to be rather than assessing whether there will be a payoff for me. Contribution does not ask “What’s in it for me?” It gives and does not tally the cost. It toils and does not send the bill. It volunteers without calculating the economic advantage of the act. Peacemakers are activists. They don’t just sit around holding hands singing kumbaya.
- Compassion. Putting oneself in the shoes of the other, understanding “why” they behave the way they do (e.g. the jerk is really quite afraid), and choosing to show kindness instead of defensiveness is something that must come from our heart of hearts. Often we men are accused of running on the fuel of two feeling states, one of them is aggression. But scratch a little deeper (a lot deeper in some) and there is a kind nature.
Living the 3 “C’s” does not guarantee a sudden flurry of real friendship, the healing of past hurts, turning my family into saints, or bringing about world peace. But being an active peacemaker gives us at least a shot of living in sync with the kindness that is in every person’s heart and pull us all back from the brink of self-destruction. Then as a community can begin to move towards being blessed.