“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
God is the God of order. He spoke the chaos into order in Genesis 1. His Son Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. By bringing peace we honor the family Name. Yet to make peace requires work, sacrifice and risk. It means stepping into a mess, risking injury, pain or insult. It means there are people on at least two sides who are aiming to bring each other down. It can be countries or even whole regions of the world!
Peacemaking is a proactive process that works to convince all sides there is a better way than what currently exists. It is more than coming alongside a person. It’s getting in the middle of two. It requires understanding of both sides, neutrality, and mediation.
It requires a heart of serving others.
I first met William Korose when he was a young man. He had people skills and he was educated. I asked him to teach a literacy class to adults, as the Maasai had a high pre-literacy rate. He did well, and people did learn. But I remember one day when he came to me and said he was to take a second wife. I advised him not to do so, as God’s ideal for marriage as stated in Scripture is to have only one spouse. He listened well, then educated me on the problems a broken promise would cause between families and within the community. The marriage had been arranged by the fathers when he and his betrothed were young children. This was the traditional Maasai way, and he wanted to honor the fathers and the community. I still held to the Scriptural principle, but told him I understood the reason for his decision. There was no damage to our relationship. We remained friends and he continued to teach. He married a second wife.
I eventually lost touch with Korose after we moved, but several years later I met up with him. He was now the chief of the area! I congratulated him, and still saw that gentle and strong Christian spirit on his face. Under his leadership, the area had become very peaceful. The people got along. Cattle raids had died down. What the local Maasai people told me was how much they liked Korose. He didn’t ask the people to serve him, like so many other chiefs. He served them! And in the process, he brought peace.
He was respected because he respected his own – his family, his culture, his community. He was a man of peace, and he brought in more peace. And in the process, people saw Christ (the Prince of Peace) in him. Today, the church is booming in that area.
After God created the world and everything in it, and saw that it was good, He rested. All was well and at peace. Then sin happened. Since then it has been a struggle to restore peace – inner peace with God, and peace on earth. But it’s what he wants, and he wants his children (like Korose) being involved in working toward a peace revolution in people’s hearts and between one another.
Is there a situation or person God has positioned in your life in order to bring peace?
Next week, a challenging topic: blessed persecution, even for doing something right.