Are you a peacemaker or peacekeeper? You may wonder, “What’s the difference? They sound the same to me.” I’m glad you asked because they are extremely different. So, let’s dive in to distinguish between the two.
A peacekeeper is someone who keeps the peace at any cost. This person may avoid confrontation, people pleasing, have difficulty saying “no,” rarely voice an opinion on decisions, and typically go along with what others want. As a result, this person often feels used and exhausted. Occasionally, this person will finally blow up and express anger because of all their peacekeeping. Or this person will fall into depression.
Peacekeeping is a flesh pattern that may be misconstrued as loving or serving others. Of course, we are to love and serve people as God directs us, but that’s different from peacekeeping.
The Apostle Paul said this about himself, which directly relates to peacekeeping. Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ (Galatians 1:10).
A peacemaker is who you are in Christ! Jesus never lived like a peacekeeper, but He is the ultimate Peacemaker, and we are like Him! So, what does it mean to make peace?
We make peace when:
- we talk through relational conflicts with the goal of resolution instead of winning. (Matthew 18:15-18)
- we confront someone in love who has offended us, though we are not responsible for their response. (Ephesians 4:26)
- we attempt to reconcile with a person, if possible. Yet, they may not want to, but we’ve done our part. (Hebrew 12:14)
- we choose not to hold something against someone or/and ourselves but instead forgive them or/and ourselves because God has forgiven us. (Ephesians 4:32)
- we help people reconcile with each other because we are ministers of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)
If you struggle with peacekeeping instead of peacemaking, agree with God about who you are. As a child of God, you are a peacemaker in Christ! Ask Jesus to live through you this way more and more, and He will. If you’ve never attended our Freedom Conference, come and learn how the Lord wants you to live like a peacemaker rather than a peacekeeper! Then you will feel more peaceful.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God (Matthew 5:9).
© Mark Maulding (But feel free to share this.)