This post originally appeared on the DPC Prayer Connections website this week…
I wasn’t exactly the definition of Peacemaker growing up.
Like all siblings, my brother and sister and I had our share of fights and quarrels; as the oldest, I was generally able to hold down the reigns of Big Sister, first by pure girly physical force, and later, by never backing down in an argument – I always had to have the last word. Additionally, I’d pick a fight, just because I could, because it was fun.
Needless to say, Jesus’ words about peacemaking weren’t very high on my priority list.
It wasn’t until one summer in college that my fighter instincts came to a grinding halt. Although my best friend Crystal and I had only known each other a couple years, we were inseparable: she was my first “sister” in Christ, who knew me on a deep emotional and spiritual level.
But even then, the nature of competition found its way into our friendship, erupting and exploding in the silliest of places: who’d make the most friends – in Christ – at camp? Who could sing (to Jesus) the prettiest? Which one of us could pray the longest, or the loudest? Eventually I found myself fighting to the death, winning some battles, while boiling with jealous rage when she won others.
Until she was brave enough to be the Peacemaker our friendship so desperately needed.
First acknowledging her own fault in the matter, she finally gave me an ultimatum. We could start our friendship anew, leaving all competition and fighting aside, and truly be sisters in Christ – or we could drop three years of kinship right then and there, abandoning it forever. If this is what friendship with me entailed, she wanted nothing to do with it …or with me.
I’m grateful that Crystal was brave enough to show up that night embodying Jesus’ words and challenging me to change my life forever. And as I reflect back on this moment of decision, I can’t help but think of Jesus’ words to his friends that day on the mountain:Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons – and daughters – of God.
Because, truthfully we’re blessed when we can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when we discover who we really are and take our humbled and divine place in God’s family.
As for me, I am his daughter, and I will be a promoter of peace.
What about you? How are you a peacemaker? How are you NOT a peacemaker?