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We all desire peace – to experience harmony and goodwill throughout our relationships. But all relationships come with degrees of conflict, disagreements, and misunderstandings. And we’re challenged in these moments to become true peacemakers, rather than peace-breakers or peace-fakers. 

It seems only human nature to be prone to slide to one extreme or the other.  

On the one hand, some are more tempted to be peace-breakers. Initially, they might start with good motivations. But in their zeal they end up only aggressively pushing their own agenda. Peace-breakers are willing to fight and bicker for as long as needed to prove their position. And being right is more important than caring for the heart of the other, or even the relationship itself. At their extreme, peace-breakers are willing to end relationships all from their self-righteous indignation. 

On the other side of the continuum are peace-fakers. In the name of peace, these individuals seek to avoid conflict at all cost. They believe not rocking the boat is the best policy to demonstrate love. But they’re only faking the peace because a storm of bitterness and resentment is often brewing beneath their calm waters on the surface. The damage might come later, but it still eventually comes. Relationships cannot thrive when we’re only pretending things are okay. 

True peacemaking holds the tension of these two extremes – assertively addressing the conflict at hand to find a meaningful solution for all, while caring for each other’s heart along the way. Peacemakers neither blow up, cave in, or run away when faced with the various disagreements of life and relationships. Instead, they stay engaged without losing sight of the true good they’re seeking to promote. 

To be sure, we invite much unnecessary heartache and pain when we don’t practice true peacemaking.

In the end, neither break nor fake the peace. Be a true peacemaker by diligently fighting for God’s best throughout your life and relationships. 

Photo by Lenstravelier on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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