Beatitudes Attitude: Blessed Are The Peacemakers

iStock-501843402Since our current sermon series is focused on Jesus' sermon on the mount, we are re-sharing our blog series on the beatitudes.

 

The Beatitudes announced a radical departure from a world where an eye-for-an-eye was a deeply held belief. Jesus came to make things new – including people’s hearts. If our hearts do not seek peace, we should not expect peace in our lives, our relationships, or the world. And, we will not behave in ways that promote peace.

 


“Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.”
– Matthew 5:9


As we’ve learned from the previous Beatitudes, our behavior is a direct reflection of our heart. When our hearts are full of greed, selfishness, envy, and pride, it will be extremely difficult (maybe impossible) to be a peacemaker. This is another reason people find the Beatitudes challenging. We all claim we want peace, but very few actually behave in a way that facilitates peace.

Let’s talk more in depth about what Jesus meant in this Beatitude.

Peacemaking is Counter-cultural

Turn on the news. It is very likely you will hear people crying out for peace and two minutes later hear about major conflicts. Our society focuses more on the “idea of peace” rather than taking the steps toward peacemaking. In fact, peacemaking is counter-cultural to our society’s values. We are prideful and revenge-seeking. We teach children to win at all costs and to always be right. These values don’t lend themselves well to peacemaking.

Think about your own life. Do you like to win an argument? Have you ever held a grudge? Have you used harsh words or used a sharp tone? Or, do you strive to listen to the opinion of others? Do you forgive easily? Do you choose your words carefully and use a gentle delivery? Peacemaking is not easy. It requires hard, selfless actions.

More than a Message for World Peace

Many people esteem the Beatitudes. Even people who do not believe in God or the Bible can see the beauty of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. The lessons He teaches his followers in the Beatitudes have the power to change the world.

However, the Beatitudes are more than a message for world peace. The Beatitudes speak specifically to those who follow Jesus. Ultimately, Jesus is the only pathway to true peace.


“Since we have been justified through faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”
– Romans 5:1


Once we experience peace with God, we’re able to become peacemakers in a troubled world.

Children of God are Supposed to Act like Their Father

John explains, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). Here, John is explaining that those who believe and follow Jesus are already called children of God. Children model the behaviors of their parents. God is a peacemaker. Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. In this Beatitude, it says those who are peacemakers will be called children of God. In other words, the children of God act as peacemakers. They are identified as children of God because of their peacemaking actions.

Let’s talk about what peacemaking looks like for you and me.

Peacemakers Love Their Enemies


“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your Father in heaven.”
– Matthew 5:43-45


Jesus makes it abundantly clear; we are to love our enemies. While this is easier said than done, Jesus did not say it just to say it. He meant it. Peacemaking requires loving those you disagree with and loving those who hurt you. It means praying for peace in your relationships, in your church, in your community, and around the world. Warren Wiersbe explains, “We may show this love by blessing those who curse us, doing good to them, and praying for them.”

Peacemakers Resolve Conflicts

Peacemakers resolve conflicts rather than aggravating them, avoiding them, or bearing grudges. Instead of causing conflicts or inciting arguments, peacemakers are intentional about ending disagreements and seeking peace. Additionally, peacemakers strive for reconciliation. They are not merely trying to keep dinner time peaceful; they are working to reconcile relationships and mend hurts.

Peacemakers Build Bridges

In a divisive climate, peacemakers look for opportunities to build bridges (or repair broken fences) rather than making divisions even more apparent. They look for ways to show kindness and graciousness to those they agree with and those they disagree with.

In today’s society, it is very easy to draw a line between those who think like you and those who do not. We get revved up to fight to be right. Peacemakers, however, recognize it is more important to show love to others than to win an argument. As the author R.J. Palacio writes in the novel Wonder, “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.”

The Fruit of the Spirit

Peacemaking is not easy. It is hard to turn the other cheek and to forgive those who sin against us. Others should be able to tell we follow Jesus by our attempts at peacemaking, and peacemaking is only possible with the help of the Holy Spirit.


“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
– Galatians 5:22-23


For further study, buy Be Loyal by Warren Wiersbe

 

Be sure to join us all through the summer for our current series Summer on the Mount: A Beginner's Guide to Experiencing Heaven on Earth. Part one specifically covered the beatitudes. You can watch it here:

Summer on the Mount: Sermon on the Beatitudes