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How I Went from Being a Peacekeeper to a Peacemaker

  • Britnee Bradshaw
How I Went from Being a Peace<i>keeper</i> to a Peace<i>maker</i>

I remember the exact season when the Lord began to work in my heart about becoming a peacemaker. It was spring of 2017 and I was steady. My heart was at peace and I didn't have any turmoil or strife within my home. It was a beautiful time of just sitting before the Lord and following his lead.

However, the Holy Spirit began to show me the thread between keeping peace in my soul, and making peace in the environments around me. You would think that making peace would naturally flow once a person has grabbed hold of it for themselves, but that isn't always the case.

It takes an awareness of God and self to reach a place of inward peace. Similarly, it takes an awareness of God and others to make peace around us.

Not everyone desires to make peace. There are many people who are content with keeping peace all to themselves. Maintaining something is quite different than establishing something. It takes people having the heart and love of God to speak peace over a situation where peace is nonexistent.

I realized that while I had reached personal peace, I wasn't necessarily being intentional about cultivating it around me. That truth bothered me, and it made me reflect on who God called me to be as a daughter of the Kingdom.

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"The Holy Spirit really challenged me to rethink...my part to play in creating peace in my world."

"The Holy Spirit really challenged me to rethink...my part to play in creating peace in my world."

Ponder this thought for a moment: It can be easy to settle into a space of peace and stillness in our lives without really being concerned about producing peace in the lives of others. Some people enjoy their peace and refuse to be in spaces that threaten it. This is completely understandable! Others may not be convinced that they are the right person to bring peace into certain situations. They may believe that it's someone else’s job. Lastly, I think that there are some people who don't really care about the peace of others. As long as they have it, they’re content.

The Holy Spirit really challenged me to rethink the way that I thought about peace, as well as what I believed was my part to play in creating peace in my world. He showed me several things about why it is so important to be peacemaker versus a peacekeeper.

A peacekeeper is one who, by sitting before the Lord and following his lead, lives in proper awareness of God and of self, and enjoys a steady stillness of the heart and home.

A peacemaker is one who exercises proper awareness of God and of others by engaging a non-peaceful environment with their personal peace, received from God, with the intention of cultivating more peace.

Both are active. Both are the result of seeking God and living in his Spirit.

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"Being a maker of peace is a mandate from heaven that will yield dividends."

"Being a maker of peace is a mandate from heaven that will yield dividends."

First, Christians are not supposed to merely hold or maintain peace. We are called to bring it with us wherever we go! The second thing that he revealed to me is that righteousness is needed in order for God’s peace to reign in the heart's of his people. We cannot have the peace of God without being clothed in the righteousness of Christ. The third and final thing he showed me was that being a peacemaker allows us to be mighty influencers on behalf of the Kingdom.

I hope that you, too, become challenged to find ways to bring peace into your homes, churches, and communities. Being a maker of peace is a mandate from heaven that will yield dividends far beyond what we see in the natural world!

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1. Children of God Are Expected to be Peacemakers.

1. Children of God Are Expected to be Peacemakers.

One of the beatitudes that Jesus preached on the Sermon on the Mount had to do with peace. In Matthew 5:9, Jesus tells the crowds this:
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

There is an expectation that in order to be called God’s son or daughter, we be peacemakers! This makes sense especially because one of the names that Jesus carries is Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

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"Christ brought peace into a world where peace was absent."

"Christ brought peace into a world where peace was absent."

When Christ was on earth, he brought the Kingdom of God with him. When he left, he gave his disciples the mission to continue in spreading the Kingdom here on earth.

Christ brought peace into a world where peace was absent. Since we are called to be commissioners of the Kingdom, we are expected to bring peace wherever we go, just like he did!

It isn't simply enough to find peace and to grab hold of it. Doing so benefits us, but it doesn't really benefit others. Real change in our world doesn't happen unless we bring peace with us.

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"We always have access to the peace of God."

"We always have access to the peace of God."

So, how do we do this? Well, when the Holy Spirit revealed this to me, he told me to start doing practical things around others that would start to shift the atmosphere. Bringing peace can mean being peace for others. Having a listening ear, removing vulgar and inappropriate language from our vernacular, and responding with love during a heated conversation are all things that we can do to become peacemakers.

Jesus tells his disciples that he is leaving them with peace. That means that he gave it to them and he wasn't going to take it back! We always have access to the peace of God. We can't ever lose it. We are able to carry it with us at all times and bring it into every kind of situation. The Holy Spirit helps us to do so.

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2. Taking on the Righteousness of Christ.

2. Taking on the Righteousness of Christ.

If we look at scripture, we can see that there is a bridge between righteousness and peace. Isaiah 32:17 tells us that the effect of righteousness is peace. Earlier in the same chapter, we read the following:

“Behold a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in justice. Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land,Isaiah 32:1-2.

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"Where God’s peace is present, you will find righteousness."

"Where God’s peace is present, you will find righteousness."

We can become peacemakers by acting righteously! I love this because it is essentially a formula to making peace in our environments!

Scripture tells us that the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Where God’s peace is present, you will find righteousness (and justice is not too far behind).

Peace is the answer to so much of the turmoil in our world. When we begin to respond to these problems righteously, we will see changes in our world! I’m certain of it.

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3. Greater Influence.

3. Greater Influence.

One of the biggest differences between keeping peace and making peace is influence that we have on others.

When I was a peacekeeper, I played my worship music and relaxed into things that made me feel calm and centered like the Word, a podcast, or a sermon. I stayed in this sort of bubble with these things. But for all the peace that I was receiving through those avenues, I wasn’t pouring it out! I was keeping it to myself.

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"We have to go out to the people and places where there is a lack in peace, and be the change agents."

"We have to go out to the people and places where there is a lack in peace, and be the change agents."

In order to become a peacemaker, I needed to engage with others. I had to come out of my bubble and face the world around me – a world that very much needed the peace of Christ that I carried.

The same is true for you. Unfortunately, we cannot make peace from the comfort of our own homes. We have to go out to the people and places where there is a lack in peace, and be the change agents. I know that this can be uncomfortable and sometimes even a little scary, but the reward of stepping out and being a peacemaker is much greater than the risk!

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Keep Sowing Peace

Keep Sowing Peace

Creating peace in our circles of influence can be a process. It might not happen overnight, and that’s okay. Sometimes it takes time. I am encouraged by the book of James to continue to bring the peace of God wherever I am regardless of the progress that I see or don’t see. James 3:18 reads this way:

“And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

If you find yourself in a situation that looks like it is not going to change, keep sowing seeds of peace as the Spirit leads!

I pray that you would experience the beauty of being a peacemaker. Our lives and the lives of those around us are transformed when we stop hoarding peace for ourselves, and decide to share it with others.

Britnee Bradshaw is a free-spirited, Old Navy-wearin', coffee-shop lovin', wife and momma. She serves in the worship ministry with her husband at their home church in Glendale, AZ and writes with the sole purpose of pointing others to Christ. You can catch up with her on her blog, On The Way Up, or via social media @b_brdshw!

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