Are you a peacemaker or a peacekeeper? A peacemaker is one who strives to make peace in situations that are in turmoil. A peacekeeper, on the other hand, often just tries to keep the status quo and do anything to avoid conflict. In the Beatitudes, Jesus calls us to be peacemakers; therefore, that is what we should strive to be.
Parents know that making peace between children is a part of our job description. From their earliest days, our children manage to disrupt the peace—get into arguments, cause discord, aggravate each other. And we find ourselves in the role of peacemaker. Sometimes that role is a stern role, sometimes it is a role of negotiating, sometimes we have to separate the parties involved. In other words, being a peacemaker is not always a peaceful job! We may have to be assertive and proactive, but whatever we can do to promote peace, that is our calling as children of God.
I’m sure many of you work in situations where a peacemaker is needed. Some of the things that typically cause discord in the workplace are gossip, job insecurity, out-of-control ambition, poor communication—and the list goes on. It could be a company-wide morale problem, producing tumult and disharmony among employees; or it could be little feuds between individuals, where one refuses to speak to another. I’m often amazed at how petty and vindictive adults can be—but there you have it.
What can we do in these kinds of environments to be peacemakers? It’s not enough just to keep pushing it under the covers, so to speak, and trying to keep a lid on things. That is peacekeeping, just opting for peace at any price. But we want to be peacemakers.