I saw this on a bumper sticker this morning, and it got me thinking about that phrase. For those that don't know, this is taken from the beatitudes found in Matthew chapter 5, at the start of the sermon on the mount:
Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
First of all, people that use this to promote their peacenik, hippy efforts are barking up the wrong tree. Christ is referring to the peace that passes all understanding. (Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.) Of course they are using it to mean we should make love, not war.
It is important to realize that the children of God are those that obey him. Therefore peacemakers are those that spread His word and bring true peace (from sin) to those that believe and obey. Pretty simple.
The question I pondered this morning though was: how is one a peacemaker in a physical sense? I thought of Neville Chamberlain. Many would have called him a peacemaker, but his appeasement of Hitler brought the opposite of peace. It was not until Winston Churchill, and a few other world leaders, stood up to Hitler and fought a war that peace was achieved. Many would argue that war is the opposite of peace but in the case of WWII it achieved peace.
I then thought of Denny (name changed to protect the guilty). Denny was a bully that bullied me on and off for a few years when I was young. Denny was a couple of years older than me, a little bit bigger than me, and a lot meaner than me. I allowed this bullying to occur until one day it became unbearable. I told my parents about the bullying.
"Sounds like it is time to stand up to him," my mom said. My mom is the epitome of a peacemaker, and here she is telling me to fight back?? My dad added, "one good lick and he'll leave you alone." I expected that from my dad. But come on, couldn't they talk to his parents, who seemed like reasonable people, and put an end to it that way?
The next time I was around Denny, the bullying started. My first reaction was to cower, appease, and try to defuse like I usually did. Denny was not giving up. So finally I reared back a fist and punched him square in the nose. The look of shock on his face was priceless. He grabbed his nose and ran off, never again to bother me. Peace.
Sometimes peace must be fought for and won the hard way. Sometimes the only way to achieve true peace is through "unpeaceful" means. If I hadn't followed my parents advice, Denny would have bullied me for many more years to come.
So blessed are the peacemakers. The TRUE peacemakers. Blessed are those that are willing to do what is necessary to achieve peace.