Peace-keeping; peace-making

by Rod Smith

There is a difference between keeping peace (peacekeeping) and making peace (peacemaking). Peacekeeping takes a lot of work and saps energy. It’s never-ending. Peacemaking lays groundwork for authentic peace to rule. Peacekeepers work hard to keep the tensions from rising. They often pretend nothing is wrong. Peacemakers allow tensions to be aired and might even precipitate necessary conflict. Peacekeepers avoid conflict at all costs. Their reward is the semblance of tranquility, and the slow demise of their integrity.

Peacemakers invite necessary conflict. They know there is no other pathway to greater understanding between warring people. Peacekeepers may endure fake peace for decades – and feel “called” or anointed or special.

Peacekeepers often have high levels of martyrdom. How else would they rationalize the stress of trying to hide the proverbial elephant in the room? Peacekeepers are often portrayed as deeply spiritual because they can endure so much without “saying anything.” They often see their suffering as persecution, rather than the product of being misguided.

Peacemakers value authentic peace. The peace that exists between people with the courage to endure conflict, for the sake of lasting peace, is as gold when compared with its counterfeit cousin.

Assume your legitimate role as a peacemaker, and give up the other as nonsense.

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