Summary: Peacemakers are blessed, said Jesus. But they are not to be confused with 2 other kinds of people ... Peace-Breakers and Peace-Fakers.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
We live in a world that is filled with (characterized by) fighting and rivalry. Every level of society is affected.
In the midst of such continual strife, God calls His people to be ‘peacemakers’. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
We need to note, this morning, as we consider this verse, that there are THREE TYPES OF PEOPLE:
Peace-breakers are those people who go out of their way to break down relationships; to cause trouble and division. They’re the deliberately confrontive people - they have to confront, disagree with everything. But their motivation is self; they are manipulative/self-seeking.
For such people, the Bible has strong words: “Now I beseech you brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which you have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” (ROMANS 16:17-18)
We can’t AFFORD to have peace-breakers in the church, for divisive people cut away the very life principles of the local assembly. They staunch the move of God; they will destroy revival.
PSALM 133. Where does the Lord command the blessing?
But, before we go riding off on a witch-hunt to find the “troublemakers”, and ‘deal with them’, we each need to examine our own hearts. Because you can be a peace-breaker without even knowing it! Most peace-breakers don’t realise what they’re doing - they feel justified in themselves.
Let me briefly elaborate on the EASIEST (most basic) way to be a peace-breaker. YOU CAN BE A PEACE-BREAKER BY THE WAY YOU USE YOUR TONGUE! Let me read to you what the Apostle James wrote about “Taming the Tongue”. [Read JAMES 3:3-10.]
Gossip, slander, being a busy-body, being opinionated or judgmental. These things are a destructive force against the church of Jesus Christ. They tear down. They cause division and friction. Whenever God begins to do something good, the enemy will always try to interrupt it - and one of his biggest snares is THE TONGUE.
I have witnessed churches go through shattering times of opposition - the moral fall of a pastor; a media inquest against their administration; even a total financial wipe-out - yet they have stood strong, and God has brought them through it to great days of blessing. But I’ve also seen the most prosperous of churches shattered into a thousand pieces because people could not control their tongues!
Church, there’s never a good enough reason fr sins of the tongue. Not even the famous, “I’m just telling you this so that you can pray about it”. I don’t care if you feel so justified; the person you’re talking about may be Attila the Hun! THERE’S NO EXCUSES - sins of the tongue grieve the Spirit of God.
OK - enough said. The first type of people around, unfortunately, are the peace-breakers. The second type of people are:
What do I mean by ‘PEACE-FAKERS’? Well, there are ones (and I guess the truth is that we’ve all been involved in peace-faking at one time or another - it’s a temptation I know I have to guard against every day of my life), ones who prefer ‘peace’ over truth. Peace-fakers see ‘peace’ as simply the absence of any kind of argument or discord. They will go to any lengths to avoid any kind of conflict/confrontation/unrest. In doing so they settle for a counterfeit peace that is based on avoiding the real issues.
Let me give you an example. You see a good friend taking a direction with their lives that you can see is leading them into trouble - they’re becoming workaholics, or alcoholics. And so you want to shake them to their senses, but every time you broach the subject it causes an argument and you’d rather just be at peace with your friend. So after a while you just let it go. You avoid the issue, and talk about more agreeable subjects.
Bill Hybels tells of a time that he did just that. He went to a close friend whose life was obviously taking a bad turn, and asked him to come to lunch so they could talk. When the time was right, over that meal together, Bill Hybels said to his friend: “I’m not trying to run your life, but I’m concerned about the direction it’s taking”. He said that friend of his go so mad, he just about jumped over the table and punched Bill’s lights out. So, Bill backed off and said, “SORRY, I’ll never mention this again.” And he didn’t mention it again, and his friend shipwrecked his life. Bill Hybels has seen that friend since, and he had to say to him, “I failed you. I should have said, ‘Hit me if you have to, if it makes you feel better, but I’m going to stay on your case because I’m concerned about your future, my friend’”.