I read a quote this morning and was struck with the truth it held. Not only the truth but also the implication it has. Here’s a paraphrase of what it said:
"An effective peacemaker actively pursues peace. They build strong relationships knowing peace is a byproduct of commitment."
I think there’s two things here which particularly stuck out to me. First, the importance of being an active peacemaker. It’s not something done passively but rather something sought after. Not just when an offense has occurred but even before it does. Proactively seeking to resolve conflict and restore relationships. It’s a great idea. We don’t want to let disagreements and frustrations destroy a relationship. Even more so we are committed to seeing those relationships remain strong. When we seek to do that and we commit to someone else the natural byproduct is peace.
I mentioned there were two things. I believe there’s a caution here as well. Active peacemaking is different from aggressive confrontation. There’s a difference. You shouldn’t chase people down and “get in their face" when there is a disagreement. I think though it is quite easy to tell the difference. It comes down to the goal. What is the desired outcome? Are you seeking to avenge yourself for a perceived wrong. Or instead are you seeking to restore a relationship. Don’t fool yourself either. Don’t attempt to tell yourself you’re looking to fix a relationship when the truth is more that you want an apology for someone offending you. Are you focused on others or are you focused on yourself?
Active peacemaking is a powerful and difficult skill to learn. But when you do you’ll find yourself with stronger relationships and a network of wonderful friends.