“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”(Matthew 5:9)

Conflict is so common in our culture that we barely notice it anymore. But simmering anger soon turns into destructive bitterness, hatred, and the desire to take revenge, which destroys relationships. Some of us use more subtle means to hurt others and we put them down.

In conflict, some of us clench our fists, raise our voices, make demands, and try to intimidate people. Others look down to avoid eye contact, barely mumble above a whisper, and give in to stop the argument. Neither of these poses can build bridges of trust and understanding.

A peacemaker is someone who treasures relationships based on mutual respect and works hard to help people to take steps in that direction. A simple misunderstanding can be resolved fairly easily, but long-standing, deep wounds can take time and attention to heal. Gradually, suspicion turns to understand and bitterness gives away to forgiveness.

When we’ve benefited from a peacemaker who stepped in to build bridges between us and someone we’ve despised, we are amazed and grateful for the peacemaker’s work. Peacemakers are, indeed sons of God who follow the pattern of the Prince of Peace by offering hope, trust, and relief to people whose relationships have been shredded by hatred.