Peace Making vs. Peace Loving

by GfG on August 29, 2013 · 7 comments

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One of the most famous quotes from the Bible is “be at peace with all men”.  Another is “goodwill and peace on Earth”.  And then there is “blessed are the peace makers”.

With all the references to peace, some problems arise.  Some of them pretty huge.  The one I want to address today is this: there is a big Biblical difference between being a peace maker and being a peace lover.

You may not realize how huge this difference is and the significance it has.

I’ve felt the difference for a while, but couldn’t put it into words until I read the book People Pleasing (How Not to be an Approval Junkie) by Lou Priolo.

Why is this an issue for the Christian?  It’s an issue because often times, truth is sacrificed for “peace”.  Or justice is denied for “peace”.  Or defense for the abused goes undone for “peace”.

When someone chooses to avoid rocking the boat in an area because they want to keep the “peace”, the reason and results need to be seriously studied.  By doing so, is someone not confronted with truth or is someone else left in the dust of mistreatment?

Loving the status quo (which is often called “peace”) more than standing for truth is being a peace lover, not a peace maker.

As Christians, we are to love the LORD.  We are to love His Word.  We are to love others.  We are to love.

It is not loving to fail to act because we don’t want to “get involved”.

I have been the brunt of inaction because people didn’t want to make a stand against another person.  They wanted to “keep the peace”.   These women were not trying to be hurtful.  They were actually trying to be the opposite.  When a bully is bullying, it’s not peace making to ignore her.   It’s actually the opposite.  It’s peace loving.

I have known others to be hurt by the idea that peace making means apologizing to someone for their cruelty or leaving intentional meanness alone.  These people had good intentions.  They were trying to be helpful.  When another person is continually sinned against, it’s not peace making to ignore it.  It’s actually the opposite.  It’s peace loving.

I have watched entire congregations of people sit idly by as peace loving is chosen over peace making.  These flocks hated the idea of confrontation.  They were trying to not hurt someone.  When sin is involved, it’s not peace making to ignore the issue.  It’s actually the opposite.   It’s peace loving.

Peace making involves lovingly sharing truth, firmly defending wrong, and refusing to allow others to be mistreated just for the sake of not upsetting others.

It means we may have to speak when we’d rather be silent. Or we tell someone their behavior is wrong.  Or

I’m not saying we go looking for fights.  Certainly not.

I’m also not saying to call out every single sin in others’ lives.  Definitely not.

I’m saying that when situations or disputes arise, we need to pray about whether we are choosing to love peace or make peace.

It’s true that sometimes we can not “make everything ok”.  The verse often quoted by peace lovers is  Romans 12:18

Be at peace with all men.

Sadly.  Importantly. Significantly.  They miss the first part of the verse.  Read the whole thing.

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

How important is that first part?!  Pretty important.

“If possible”  This is huge.  It is a recognition that sometimes… it’s just not.

“so far as it depends on you”  Again.  Very big deal.  Acknowledgment that we have a part, but we aren’t the only part.  Do what we can.  Leave it with the LORD.

“be at peace with all men”  Live peaceably with those around you.

Peace making does not mean condoning sin, defending blasphemy, or allowing mistreatment.

It means loving.  God first and foremost.

Friends, let’s glorify the LORD by choosing Him over fear of rocking the boat or upsetting people.  Let’s do it in loving ways.  Let’s leave the end result with the Prince of Peace.

Have you seen the difference between peace loving and peace making? 

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