General George S. Patton was a leader of U.S. forces in Europe in World War II. He was nicknamed “Old Blood and Guts.” He was known to speak his mind, often in profanity-laced speeches. He believed a general should lead from the front and drove his troops to rapid advances. If you do an internet search for his picture, you’ll see he looked the part. He was often seen with a riding crop or wearing a pair of ivory-handled revolvers. The weapons looked to be straight out of a cowboy movie! The revolvers were the Peacemaker model made by Colt.
Is this what it means to be a peacemaker? To be someone who drives forward, defeating others and forcing peace? That was one use of the word in the ancient Greek language. But that is not the meaning of Jesus in Matthew 5:9 when he said, ““Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (NIV) How do we know this? Because the children will be like the Father. And Romans 5:1 tells us that God made peace through Jesus. He didn’t force us into a peace. Rather he arranged a reconciliation through the sacrifice of his son. He did not wield a weapon, rather he wielded love.
If we are to be peacemakers, it means helping to bring peace and reconciliation to others. Those who step in to mend relationships between others are peacemakers.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.