“Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9 NKJV
For those of us here who remember the height of the Civil Rights Movement, often we can recall the struggles that we endured as Black people to gain equal liberties. Our movement hit the national stage, and everyone could see the tactics employed by the Jim Crow system and the violence that was inflicted upon a people who wanted to be recognized and acknowledged as human beings who deserved equal rights in this great country called “America.”
There are numerous accounts of the stories told about how the early civil rights workers and protesters had to learn to practice conscious peaceful resistance tactics that would help them to overcome evil with good when they were traveling in dangerous territory. As we have been able to look back on some of these scenes when we see the clips of our historical past, they are riveting and heart wrenching to watch; but, we see the benefits and the victories of what can be accomplished when we are willing to live and practice a lifestyle of conscious peacemaking.
Often our ancestors would sing songs such as “We Shall Overcome” and “This Little Light of Mine.” They had internalized Jesus’s message and were walking as Jesus did when he faced the cross of Calvary. Many in our community knew that they were bearing a cross for another generation. Many of our ancestors knew that they would not make it into the promised land of victory, but they stood in the face of violence and hatred as peacemakers.
Jesus has been our model of peace. He lived his life on the earth in calmness and quiet contentment about the mission that was set before him. When we read the scriptures, we cannot miss his examples of overcoming evil with good and sleeping calmly in the midst of storms.
Even in this Twenty-first Century amid a Covid-19 ladened world, God is calling us to a lifestyle of peacemaking. Not only are we being called to peacemaking, we are called to pursue peace with everything within us; and, as much as it is in our power, we are encouraged to live at peace with everyone.
Peacemaking is creating a world that recognizes all human beings as equals and deserving of mutual respect that we each want for ourselves. It is giving the same treatment that we want. To be a peacemaker means to be at rest, quiet, silent, serene, and content within ourselves and our situation, without resorting to violence or rage to solve our problems and disagreements. It is an agreement to end hostilities and to live free from quarrels and unrest.
However, we are living in a world where violence and rage have become the norm for handling disputes and disagreements to the point that when we become so uncomfortable with someone else’s choices, decisions or position of authority, we act out in violence with our thoughts, words, attitudes, and our actions. When we live out of a life filled with internal insecurity personally and corporately, we want to control everything and everyone around us in order to feel secure. It is possible to live in a world that is peaceful, if and when we make the decision to become a peacemaking individual, family, school, business, organization, city, church or nation.
God has called us to go into the world and be peacemakers, but not pursuing the temporary peace that the world has to offer. The world’s message says, “As long as everything is going well and it is going the way that we want, we will have peace. As long as we get entitlements that we feel that we deserve based on our ethnicity, class, status, and income, we have peace.” However, as soon as these things are threatened, we engage in internal and physical war.
Even if we don’t get peacemaking right every day, we have to keep trying to walk in peace until we find ourselves not being rattled by every situation or the things that people say or do. To be a real peacemaker, it will be imperative for us to go within and examine ourselves to make the changes necessary to bring ourselves under the controlling influence of the Holy Spirit and end the war within.
Now let’s set the record straight: Being a conscious peacemaker does not mean that we do not speak out against injustice and inhumanity. It does not mean that we become doormats for everyone to step on. On the contrary, it means that we speak out with love, assertiveness, and conviction in our hearts that every human being has been placed on this planet to enjoy certain benefits and rights without the use of war, violence, intimidation, bullying, oppression, force or control. It means that we do not destroy lives because we cannot get our way, or by forcing others into conditions and behaviors that will break the human spirit.
Peacemakers are careful how we think, speak and act. Daily we make a conscious decision to practice peacemaking, privately and publicly. We cannot hide the ugliness of the internal war in our souls, and the planning and plotting of human demise, and it not radiate in the physical realm. The energy of hatred and violence can never be hidden. Today, we are being called to be conscious peacemakers!
- To be conscious peacemakers, we have to watch our frame of mind when we are faced with situations and challenges that are beyond our control.
- Stop and think before we speak.
- Listen for what our body and mind are telling us. It will alert us when we are in internal war.
- Don’t fret over things that we cannot control. God never meant for human beings to control each other.
- Get rid of any sin or failure through confession and prayer.
- Settle disputes and misunderstandings calmly.
- Watch our tone of voice.
- Take the time to speak the truth in love.
- Look for opportunities to be a peacemaker in our homes, work environments, schools, communities, governments, cities and world.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:5 NKJV)
Disrupters of Peacemaking
- Misalignment and harmony with God
- Unhealthy need to oppress and control people and situations
- Unhealthy pride and arrogance
- Broken expectations
- Disagreements that become disagreeable
- Continuous trials and test
- Hearing the word “no”
Search our hearts for war and give us the willingness to bring a ceasefire to the internal wars that are destroying the fabric of our world. Give us the mind and heart of a peacemaker. In Jesus mighty name~Amen
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27 NKJV).