Beapptitudes

This is My Peacemaker

Written on 07/18/2018
Luke Estrada


Devotional

I’ve been thinking a lot about peacemakers this week (I wonder why?), and I keep thinking about how some people will name their guns “peacemaker.” It can be a funny joke if the timing is just right, but something about it just hits a tad too close to home for me.

I was talking to a woman not too long ago, and she commented on my pacifist ideas. She said that I oughtn’t to be listening to the professors who were teaching me this kind of things and that Jesus wasn’t a pacifist. I was floored, I had no idea how to respond. This thought went counter to everything I had heard about Jesus and was so stunning coming from this spiritual mentor in my life, that I had no idea how to respond.

The conversation shook my idea of Jesus, and it took some time talking to friends and other spiritual mentors for me to be assured that Jesus did love peace the way I always had. But I also realized that many people don’t believe that Jesus was truly nonviolent.

And then I remembered the guns named peacemaker and things made a little more sense. And then I remembered the historic Pax Romana (Roman Peace), which was only peaceful because of how much had been conquered, and that picture of Jesus made a little more sense.

One beautiful thing about Christ is that he never calls us to be anything that he isn’t. When he challenges us to be peacemakers, he’s challenging us to be like him. He settled disputes and arguments and brought peace to many facing physical calamities or spiritual turmoil. But why do we desire so strongly to make Jesus into a “tougher” peacemaker? Why do we hang on to the stories of Jesus clearing out the temple, of withering the fig tree, and point to these as examples of his real underlying aggression? Why do we discard every other story about peace-doing, and keep the ones that paint him as a man of force?

 

Maybe because it lets us keep our force. Maybe because it helps us justify our aggression. Maybe because it lets us keep our “peacemakers.”

 

Wherever you are in your journey to peacemaking, examine yourself an find the place that wants to hold on to an aggressive faith and pray that God helps you let it go. Don’t worry, God’s peacekeeping spirit will take its place and help you love others the way that he does.

Maybe because it lets us keep our force. Maybe because it helps us justify our aggression. Maybe because it lets us keep our “peacemakers.”

Wherever you are in your journey to peacemaking, examine yourself an find the place that wants to hold on to an aggressive faith and pray that God helps you let it go. Don’t worry, God’s peacekeeping spirit will take its place and help you love others the way that he does.