Peacekeeping / Peacemaking — there is a difference

by Rod Smith

Call me... 317 694 8669 (USA)

Call me... 317 694 8669 (USA)

There is a big difference between keeping peace (peacekeeping) and making peace (peacemaking). In a troubled emotional environment peacekeeping takes a lot of work, saps energy, and is usually a never-ending task.

Peacemaking lays groundwork for authentic peace to rule.

Peacekeepers work hard to keep the tensions from rising. They work hard at pretending that nothing is wrong and nothing is bothering them.

Jesus was a peacemaker (the cross is one evidence that he did not avoid conflict) and he calls his followers to be peacemakers. (See The Beatitudes, Matthew 5). Peacemakers allow tensions to surface, even encourage tensions to be aired. They might even precipitate conflict.

Peacekeepers avoid conflict at any cost. Their reward is the semblance of peace and tranquility and the slow demise of their integrity.

Peacemakers invite necessary conflict because they know there is no other pathway to increasing of understanding between warring people and groups.

Peacekeepers can endure fake peace for decades while the tensions erode at their well being and it often leads to feelings of being “called” or anointed. Peacekeepers often have high levels of martyrdom. How else would they rationalize the stress that accompanies the effort of trying to hide the proverbial elephant in the room? Peacekeepers are often portrayed a deeply spiritual because they can endure so much without “saying anything.” They often see their suffering, not as an expression of being misguided or of stupidity, but as a product of faithfulness to being “Christian.”

d-is-for-differentiation1Peacemakers value authentic peace more than its distorted parody. The peace that exists between people with the courage to endure conflict, for the sake of lasting peace, is like gold when compared with its counterfeit cousin.

In your family, at your work place, at your place of worship, move toward lasting peace with courage. Assume your legitimate role as a peacemaker rather than avoid conflict in order to keep a semblance of peace that is not worth having.

Call Rod now…..

11 Responses to “Peacekeeping / Peacemaking — there is a difference”

  1. Bravo.
    Ap”pease” ment is the main activity of peasekeepers.
    (A distinction should be made between “peace” and “pease”. Such a change would banish confusion. )

  2. Excellent point — thank you.


  3. Is it true that military troops who are peacekeepers dont’ have weapons?

  4. This particular column has stayed with me ever since I read it (a while ago). I have found myself in trying situations and the only guidance I need when I am trying to sort out a problem is to ask myself ” Am I being a peacekeeper or a peacemaker?”. I find that the answer to that is half the problem solved!!!!!

    Thank You

  5. Same here…I come back as well to remind myself. Probably more death and destruction globally has been the result of keeping the “peace” rather than openly admitting conflict and the need to protect oneself.

  6. Thanks so much 4 d good leanered idea. I wil coment after my assignment. Pls keep it up.

  7. Hi Rod, i just came across you web site with this peace keeper conversation by you… I am so very happy to see it and read it… I always wondered if I was right or not about this subject and have always claimed the difference between the two… I have always said that sometimes it takes war to make peace… unfortunately, but there are times when you just have to be willing to go to war and you can make peace… but either way, it does take being strong and uncomfortable for awhile. I know it is just a self affirming word, but I needed it a lot. Thank you thank you thank you. I will now look around your site and read some other subjects.

  8. Thank you so much for the excellent answer.

  9. Please can you clariy me the similary and dissimilary of peace keeping and peace making

    thank you

  10. Thanks for your indepth analysis. I facts on conflict transformation


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