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Making Peace

Blessed are the peacemakers. Matthew 5:9
Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. James 3:18

by Neil Carmichael, PeacePoint’s Director of Training

On March 31, 1978, I had the honor of spending a few moments with the former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Talking with a world leader who’d received the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in ending the Vietnam War by negotiating the Paris Peace Accords was quite a memorable encounter.

Sixteen hundred years earlier, Roman Emperor Constantine the Great convened the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D., to address a controversy over Jesus’ divinity. To the assembled delegates representing all of Christendom, Constantine said: “Discord in the church I consider more fearful and painful than any other war…Delay not therefore…servants of God; put away all causes of strife, and loose all knots of discord by the laws of peace.”1

Although Kissinger and Constantine were peacemakers at very different moments in history, they shared a common understanding: Making peace is more important than keeping peace.

Keeping peace doesn’t alter the dynamics of a controversy; it just tinkers with the nuts and bolts. Peacekeeping is simply monitoring or policing terms imposed by another, and it may not even require cooperation, collaboration or interaction among the disputants.

Making peace involves changing the very structure of the relationship or the environment, touching on values, beliefs and behaviors. It’s an internal change that requires us to alter deeply held beliefs, modify established habits and behaviors and transform the way we think.

As you fulfill your calling to love God and others, and as you serve where your love for God intersects with the needs of people, be an agent of Jesus’ peace; making peace as you go so all that you sow raises a harvest of righteousness.

1 Christian Classics Ethereal Library, History of the Christian Church, Volume III: Nicene and Post-Nicene Christianity. A.D. 311-600. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/hcc3.iii.xii.iv.html. Accessed 2/16/14.
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Lord Jesus, you bless those who are peacemakers in this world
and call them your children. May you, the Lord of
peace, give them peace at all times and in
every way. May I be an agent of your
peace, serving where my love for you
intersects with the needs of people
and making peace as I go in
order to sow a harvest
of righteousness.

This peace devotion is an excerpt from the devotional book written by our very own Neil Carmichael and entitled His Peace For Your Life.

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