How to Be a Peacemaker

As much as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. (Romans 12:21)

I hate conflict. It seems easier to just let something go, shove it under the rug, or put up with it — to avoid the risk of rejection by not bringing it up. But I’ve learned that in my relationships, at times I have to be willing to risk conflict in order to bring about genuine peace.

My girlfriend Sharon did something that bothered me, and I couldn’t seem to let it go. I begged God to help me forget it, lay it down, forgive her, but I couldn’t. Eventually I found myself distancing myself from her — I’m not a good pretender. I felt hurt, and I was avoiding her because I didn’t want to be honest. I was afraid.

When you’re in this kind of dilemma, the only biblical way out is the way of the peacemaker. You must be willing to enter into potential conflict in order to bring about true peace and reconciliation. Otherwise the relationship will deteriorate because of unresolved hurts and anger.

A biblical peacemaker always prepares for this kind of conversation with prayer. Ask God for His wisdom and a humble heart. Next, write out what you want to say. If you plan your words, it’s more likely that they will communicate exactly what you want to say. Practice saying what you’ve written out loud. Notice your tone. Is it too harsh? Too weak? Aim for a neutral tone. Lastly, pick a time and place carefully so that you’ll both have the time and energy to talk this through. This conversation is too important to do when someone is preoccupied, tired, or hungry.

Is there someone you need to talk with to make peace? Go. Don’t put it off. Obey God and do your part. Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).

Leslie Vernick

About Leslie Vernick

Leslie Vernick is a popular speaker, an author, a licensed clinical social worker, and coach. She has over 25 years of experience helping individuals and couples heal, rebuild, or grow in their relationships. Leslie is the author of six books, including the […]

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Comments

  1. Great truth, Leslie– one we all need to hear and practice. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Great advice for sure, though for me it's not always easy to discern between the stuff to confront and the offenses to overlook and give to God. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

  3. I wholeheartedly agree with this, but I have found with one or two people in my life that I can never seem to work through to understanding. It seems as if the other person doesn't really want a relationship with me. This causes me pain, but I feel like I have to let it go. Is this what the Bible means when it says "as far as it is possible with you, be at peace with all people"?

  4. Lisa Troyer says:

    Thanks, Leslie — a difficult but necessary discipline we all need to implement. Avoidance and hardening hearts is not His desire for us.

  5. Mary Simpson says:

    I love this. Very well spoken. As I've grown spiritually, I find that if I don't deal with conflict upfront in a peaceful and loving way that I become bitter. I don't like feeling bitter or angry it can make you sick spiritually and physically. I love being a peacekeeper now, but I haven't always been that way. Thank you Jesus!

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