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4 Reasons NOT to Be a Peacekeeper

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” –Matthew 5:9

“So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.” –Romans 14:19

“And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” –James 3:18

It’s good to be a peacemaker, but is it possible to think we are peacemakers when really we are something entirely different? Many sadly settle into a role as peacekeeper, but it is not the same thing and can many times further damage relationships and situations.

I’ve been one who walked on eggshells. I’ve avoided conflict. I’ve been scared to rock the boat. We never have to shake things up just to try it, but there’s a better way than running from every possible clash in the name of keeping peace.

Here are four differences between peacemakers and peacekeepers and let’s see if you share my views.

1. Peacemakers rely on divine wisdom to gently make a path and direct change (James 3:17). 
Peacekeepers lean on earthly wisdom and natural instincts to avoid conflict and maintain the status quo (James 3:15-16).
2. Peacemakers are confident and bold without being overbearing or imposing their way.
Peacekeepers are afraid to step out, backs down at challenges, and would prefer to be unnoticed and left alone.
3. Peacemakers use words to build up, encourage, accomplish progress, and establish boundary lines in truth.
Peacekeepers use words to flatter, hide themselves, justify bad behavior, and keep up appearances.
4. Peacemakers demonstrate a deep love for others by standing up in the face of opposition and demanding freedom.
Peacekeepers demonstrate a great love of self by remaining quiet in the hopes opposition will go away and demanding complacency.

I’ve been on both sides of this. I’m better than I used to be and not fully where I want to be, but I am reaching.

If you’re still not convinced there’s a difference we only have to look at the ultimate in peace. How did Jesus accomplish peace for us? Was in flattering platitudes and good intentions? Or was it radical trust in the Father and transformation to everyone He touched?

14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. –Ephesians 2:14-16

He didn’t run and hide or even try to broker a treaty or compromise. He brought forth something completely new and original. He became our peace by taking all the death, enmity, and struggle we couldn’t handle. He’s our example of a peacemaker and shows us heaven’s definition of ‘conflict resolution.’

What do you think? Can you come up with other differences between Peacemakers and Peacekeepers?

16 Comments

  1. I think you summed it up pretty well…

    I’m usually a Peacekeeper when it comes to me and my wife….lol….in the few times she gets upset with me…I am pretty much quiet….AND she HATES THAT!

    But When I Make the Peace…as a Peacemaker…and say hey….we are fighting over something really silly…lets stop now and get over it…

    She GETS even more mad! but she doesn’t hate it!….she actually gets over it more quickly then if i don’t say anything…

    funny that that works out…huh…

    Thanks Jason…cool thoughts.
    arny recently posted..“Google it”My Profile

    • Believe me, I know exactly what you mean. I’m usually the one who wants to talk it out though and I’ve figured out that sometimes my wife just needs a moment to think and clear her head so even recognizing when silence or time is necessary can be part of the peacemaking. We really need the Holy Spirit for all things! Thanks Arny.

  2. Those who are peacemakers go into the thick of the battle to resolve the conflict. They have their eyes set beyond the problem in order to provide solutions.

    Peacekeepers do not care if the problem gets resolved. They just want it to not affect them.

    • Wow, that’s really good and really true. Thank you, Dusty.

  3. I think the main difference stems from the fact that we have a different idea of what peace really is. We think it’s a lack of strife or hardship or confrontation, when really, it’s more about doing what is right and not being anxious about it. Great post Jason!
    Jason Vana recently posted..Ordinary Men. Extraordinary Impact.My Profile

    • You are so right! We form a worldly idea of peace instead of a Kingdom idea and it just rings hollow. Thanks so much, Jason.

  4. This reminds me of a post a friend wrote a couple of years ago.
    Peacemaker, Peace Taker, or Peacekeeper?
    Helen recently posted..Moved by….My Profile

    • Are you telling me I’m late to the party? 🙂 Sherri did a great job talking about it and it’s so true. We settle for the less because it’s more comfortable, but grace always goes beyond our natural limitations and abilities. God desires to do the impossible through us. Thank you, Helen.

  5. Great differentiation between a peacekeeper and a peacemaker!

    I have definitely been guilty of being a peacekeeper. I am slowly learning to deal with conflict in more healthier ways.
    Kevin Martineau recently posted..Encouragement changes peopleMy Profile

    • You’re not alone, Kevin. Peacekeeping can be the road of least resistance, but it ends being a headache or step backward or both. I’m learning too! Thanks so much.

  6. In order to be peacemaker there has to be some type of turmoil, or war going on aleady, otherwise peacemakers cannot make peace. In order to be a peacekeeper, peace already has to be in place. A peacemaker is proactive and peacekeeper is reactive. God Bless.
    Juan Cruz Jr recently posted..God’s PatienceMy Profile

    • That’s it, Juan. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  7. Awesome post. I think often we’re all a little guilty of being peace keepers. Other times I think we are peace keepers with an overly aggressive attitude, trying to impose our will for all the wrong reasons.

    It really is a fine line, invisible without the guidance of God.
    floyd recently posted..THE INTERSECTION OF LIFE AND DEATHMy Profile

    • That’s interesting isn’t it? Being a peacekeeper doesn’t have to mean being passive. It’s just the wrong motivation and heart. We have to be led by the Spirit! Thanks Floyd.

  8. Peacemaking is a HUGE part of staying strong in ministry leadership.

    I’m grateful you took the time to unpack the difference between it and peacekeeping -- totally different concepts.
    Scott Couchenour recently posted..3 OptionsMy Profile

    • So true and the stakes can be so much higher in leadership. We need to understand this! Thanks Scott.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Dusty Rayburn - RT @br8kthru: 4 Reasons NOT to Be a Peacekeeper http://t.co/nramF2NI
  2. MakeADifferenceToOne - RT @dlrayburn: RT @br8kthru: 4 Reasons NOT to Be a Peacekeeper http://t.co/VuEepQLj // Great post, Jason!
  3. Helenatrandom - RT @br8kthru: 4 Reasons NOT to Be a Peacekeeper http://t.co/D08tltwQ
  4. Jason Stasyszen - 4 Reasons NOT to Be a Peacekeeper, today on Connecting to Impact http://t.co/q731npPe
  5. Jason Stasyszen - RT @dlrayburn: RT @br8kthru: 4 Reasons NOT to Be a Peacekeeper http://t.co/47DICJFS <<thanks Dusty!
  6. Jason Stasyszen - RT @makeadiff21: RT @dlrayburn: RT @br8kthru: 4 Reasons NOT to Be a Peacekeeper http://t.co/47DICJFS // Great post, Jason! <<thanks…
  7. Jason Stasyszen - RT @helenatrandom: RT @br8kthru: 4 Reasons NOT to Be a Peacekeeper http://t.co/47DICJFS <<you're a blessing, Helen Joy :)
  8. Jason Stasyszen - RT @kevinmartineau: RT @br8kthru: 4 Reasons NOT to Be a Peacekeeper http://t.co/47DICJFS <<thanks so much, Kevin!
  9. Jason Stasyszen - New Blog Post: 4 Reasons NOT to Be a Peacekeeper http://t.co/j7RMFVYm
  10. Glynn Young - 4 reasons not to be a peacekeeper, by @br8kthru at Connecting to Impact http://t.co/BkV0KZjd
  11. Jason Stasyszen - RT @gyoung9751: 4 reasons not to be a peacekeeper, by @br8kthru at Connecting to Impact http://t.co/bNnkj5xI <<thank you so much,…
  12. Divya Sachdeva - 4 reasons not to be a peacekeeper, by @br8kthru at Connecting to Impact http://t.co/BkV0KZjd

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