“Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.”
Give peace a chance. What does that mean? It may bring forth to you imagery of hippies in San Francisco during the 1960s. But the concept of peace is rooted much further back in time than the 1960s. Understanding peace requires us to go back to a couple millennia ago with the teachings of Jesus.
Peace, theologically speaking, is intrinsically tied to the concept of loving one’s enemies. Did you know that people will not like you? Perhaps they will not like you because of your personality. Perhaps they will not like you because of your ideas. Perhaps they will not like you because of your social standing. Perhaps they will not like you because they are jealous. Perhaps they will not like you because … well, they may just not like anybody at all.
I’ve learned as a school board member I am sometimes trapped to make decisions that are bound to upset people. If I vote one way, this group is unhappy. If I vote this way, another faction is unhappy. I cannot be concerned about who I make happy and who I do not – I just have to make what I think is the right decision, grounded in reason and compassion (NOTE: Upsetting people is not something I relish). The result very well may be that some people may not like me. In fact, their dislike may boil to pure hatred.
Here’s the most important point of being a peacemaker …
Regardless of whether someone hates me – and I’m sure there are some – I must not hate that person back. The only way I can do that is to be filled with love. This is something I pray for every single day.