So many of us want to maintain the peace. We desire to be peace keepers. I think, though, the lengths we go to keep the peace are often questionable. What we're really saying is "I want things nice and quiet." The Lengths we're willing to go to keep the peace often mean not dealing with problems, the proverbial "sweeping it under the rug." Keeping peace, and MAKING peace are two entirely different functions. Let's take a look at peace keepers for a second. I always imagine men like Virgil Earp, cops, marshals, and cowboys. Their job was to maintain the peace by keeping the law. It wasn't supposed to be an aggressive thing, but when the law was violated, they stepped in, and apprehended or took care of the culprit. A Peace Maker is different. The term peace maker sounds aggressive, but in the kingdom of God, it's not merely aggressive, it's sacrificial. A Peace maker does not care about his or her own safety, comfort, social status, or anything else. They are the difference they want to see. I'm not talking about carrying signs, marching, or thing like that; peace makers want to see right change, but they act as the change they want to see. If there is injustice, they will seek the injured party(ies), and make peace. If there is hunger, they will feed, thirst, drink. Jesus sums it up pretty well (Caring for the least of these): "34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ " (Matthew 25). THAT is making peace! Are you meeting needs of your neighbor, and thus being a peace maker? Or are you maintaining the law and the status quo?
Romans 12 English Standard Version (ESV)
A Living Sacrifice
12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers,[a] by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.[b] 2 Do not be conformed to this world,[c] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.[d]
Gifts of Grace
3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members,[e] and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads,[f] with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Marks of the True Christian
9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,[g] serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.[h] Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it[i] to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
a. Romans 12:1 Or brothers and sisters
b. Romans 12:1 Or your rational service
c. Romans 12:2 Greek age
d. Romans 12:2 Or what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God
f. Romans 12:8 Or gives aid
g. Romans 12:11 Or fervent in the Spirit
h. Romans 12:16 Or give yourselves to humble tasks
i. Romans 12:19 Greek give place