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3 Ways to Be a Peacemaker - iBelieve Truth: A Devotional for Women - February 13

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3 Ways to Be a Peacemaker
By: Maggie Meadows Cooper

“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good... Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” - Romans 12:18

As I scroll through my Facebook feed or look at the nightly news, the majority of what I see is discord. One mama group fussing at another mama group about the Super Bowl halftime show. Republicans and Democrats sparring over the State of the Union address. Racial tension. So many areas of division. And it hurts my heart to see the lost being lost, but even more so, to see those who claim to follow Jesus losing precious opportunities to show and tell the world who He really is. 

A few months ago, my littlest started asking questions about Jesus and His power. I knew I needed to help her grasp the hugeness of who He is, so we began to sing the “Jesus name” song at bed each night. It is so sweet to hear her singing that He is “Lord of Lord, King of Kings, Mighty God, Lord of everything…” But in that song, there is only one name mentioned twice... Prince of Peace. 

In John 14:27, Jesus said, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” One of Jesus’ most precious gifts is peace, y’all. In the  midst of strife and tension and arguments and seemingly endless darkness in this world, He gives peace. And our people need and want it so desperately. 

For those who don’t know Him, for those who haven’t experienced Him, it should be our heartfelt mission to show them what real peace...His peace...looks like in the midst of these divisive times. Paul tells us:

“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good... Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” - Romans 12:18

Romans 12:18, inspirational image

That hit hard? It did me. The realization that, on many days, I am not living this out, pierces my heart. I want to do better. And my hope is that you do too. 

So, here are three ways we can share Jesus by acting as peacemakers with those in our daily lives who may have different views than us:

1. Don’t just pretend to love people. Really love them.

So if you are like me, you are thinking, “I don’t need this...I’m a very loving person.” But y’all, our kind of love is so imperfect and flawed. It can become a selfish love, a “what’s in it for me?” kind of love, even with the best intentions. It’s easy to put on a show and hug a neck or shake a hand and deliver an Oscar-worthy performance with smiles and prayers and words of encouragement in front of a crowd. But what about when no one is looking? 

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no account of wrongs. Love takes no pleasure in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

And y’all, the way we love others is seen in the everyday moments of life. 

In our words, spoken or typed. 
And in our actions, public or private.

If we want to love people, to really love people, we have a responsibility as representatives of Jesus to respond with the things mentioned above...patience, kindness, humility, and unselfish motives.

2. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.

My sweet friends, being a peacemaker does not mean we forfeit our convictions for those we disagree with. We should stand firm in our Biblical beliefs and strive to fill our hearts and minds with those things which are “true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy” (Phil.4:8). Paul says to hate what is wrong. But I don’t believe he is telling us to act hatefully towards others who do things contrary to our beliefs. There is a difference. 

The beauty of being a peacemaker is that those around us can feel our peace, not necessarily by what we say, but by what we hold dear. Paul says to “hold tightly to what is good.” And what/who is good? Jesus. Only Jesus. When we hold tightly to someone, they must be close to us. And if we are abiding in Jesus and His Word, it will show in our actions and speech. 

3. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

This is where the rubber meets the road. Paul doesn’t say that everyone else should choose to live in peace with us. He says that we should do all that we can to live in peace with them. Even if someone is ugly to us. Even if we are in the right. No matter who it is. We are responsible for our own actions. And will be held accountable for them one day.

So, when the next controversial post pops up. When the next political forum is aired. Stop right there, and question your next move based on the peace or discord it will bring and what effect it may have. Sometimes there may not need to be any action but prayer for those you disagree with. Sometimes it might call for a private conversation to talk things through from different points of view in hopes of planting a seed for Jesus. But take time to ponder what you can do to bring people together instead of tearing them apart.

Pray for Jesus to give you the heart of a peacemaker.
Really love others.
Cling to what is good.

And do everything in your power to live in peace with others. It’s not easy, but it is worth it.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” - Matthew 5:9

Maggie Meadows Cooper is a wife, mom, educator, author, and blogger with a longing for women to grow a heart for Jesus and others. She is the author of the children’s book “Bumper” and blogs at The Little Moments about what the Lord is teaching her through her children and everyday life. She contributes to Blogs by Christian Women, Devotional Diva, She Disciples, and Connecting Ministries. An educator with a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Auburn University (War Eagle!), she has twenty years experience working with young children. She loves all things chocolate, real Coca-Cola, and lives with her husband, three children, and two rambunctious dogs in Opelika, Alabama.

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