He then continues to name one of the outward effects of a pure heart: A person whose heart is being purified will loathe unrest and discord. He will become a lover of peace.
But that is not where it will stop. He wouldn’t run to the mountains for some isolated sense of peace; he will play an integral role in establishing peace. He will find ways to make peace. For him, peace doesn’t come from isolation, but from being right in the middle of the dynamics of human relationships and finding ways to let people see eye to eye. Sometimes, peace can only be made by first turning everything upside down and that’s the hard part.
When I see my child inclined towards wrong behaviour and my child is stubborn and I know that addressing that behaviour is going to cause some disturbance of peace in the home, I have a choice to make. Either I opt for the easy way out and leave the situation as is, so that there can be “peace” in the home. But this kind of peace is a fragile and superficial peace which may turn into mayhem at any second.
Sooner or later the wrong behaviour is going to catch up with the child and then we have to face the wrong which we preferred to ignore while it was staring us in the face. By then the problem may be a much bigger one. The other option is to view the long-term effects of misbehavoir and to cause a little disturbance now so that disaster can be avoided in the long run. This kind of peace is long-lasting and bears good fruit in the long run.
Those who are prepared to face short-term discomfort to establish long-lasting peace are wise and these peacemakers will be called, “sons of God.” The reason being that children emulate their father. God sometimes causes a little short-term discomfort to establish long-term peace in our hearts and lives. The most remarkable way in which God established peace was how He allowed His Son to experience temporary suffering so that we may have eternal peace with God.
On the other hand, those who are not the sons of God, find peace a disturbing thing. It bothers them when things are going too smoothly. It makes them restless when relationships between friends and family are peaceful. They need to find ways to break up and destroy that peace, and they usually revert to gossip and troublemaking to disturb the peace.
In Proverbs 6 there is a list of seven things that the Lord hates. The seventh thing on the list is an abomination in His sight and it is this: “A person who sows discord in a family.” (Proverbs 6:19 NLT). This extends to people who sow discord among friends and who take pleasure in breaking up relationships. A “peacemaker” has the exact opposite desire. He or she wants to see relationships restored.
The world may see you as blessed when you would rather conform to their ways than address the wrong. You don’t like to disturb the shaky “peace” among those who live in the world, so you rather conform and things are going well for you. But those who take a stand for what is right, no matter the consequences, no matter how unpopular they are, they are the ones God calls blessed. God did not save us to enter a popularity contest. Who can gain the most followers? Who can have the biggest ministry? Whose church building can be the biggest? That’s not what it’s all about. We are saved to stand up for what is right and to stick with it even when things get tough.
There is a saying that if you don’t stand for anything, you will fall for anything. Winston Churchill said that if a man has made a few enemies in his life, it means that he stood up for something. I am not promoting the idea of going around making enemies out of our neighbors, but I am trying to say that sometimes, when we take a stand for what is right, we may make a few enemies in the process. When that happens we shouldn’t draw back from our stance. Jesus didn’t. He stood up for the Truth even when His life was endangered.
We should follow His example, but when it comes to choosing between right and wrong, we have to take a stand for what is right, no matter the consequences. This, of course, leads us to the final beatitude where Jesus says that those who follow the Lord and take a stand for what is right will be persecuted by man but will be blessed by God. More on that in the next post.
- Blessed are the Peacemakers (provocativechristian.wordpress.com)
- The Beatitudes: Blessed are those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness (thoughtsonscripture.com)
- The Beatitudes: Blessed Are The Pure in Heart (thoughtsonscripture.com)