The Controversial Truth About the Meaning of the Word ‘Peace’

The Definition of Peace

Peace is used as a very passive word in the world today. We all want everyone to be happy. This is what we have defined as being peaceful. But, if we look at the definition, we discover that we aren’t even scratching the surface of the true meaning of peace. In some ways, we’re getting it all wrong.

Definition of peace: Freedom from war or violence or disturbance.

After reading this definition, you may be thinking to yourself, “No Alex, that sounds right. That’s the definition I know.” But I challenge you with this, are you thinking deep enough?

You see, in order to have freedom from war, violence and disturbance; “issues” cannot simply be ignored. We cannot act like a problem is nonexistent. No, the root of the problem must be identified and resolved. What I am implying is that true peace only comes from a result of struggle and battle.

Freedom is never free. Without struggle, there can be no peace. Struggle separates true lasting peace from the illusion of peace which is temporary silence.

Within the definition of peace, all people fall into one of two categories:

#1. Peacekeepers

Most people living today, especially Americans, fall into this category. Peacekeepers want everyone to be happy and comfortable. They are individuals who will bend and stretch what they know to be the truth to keep the peace. Their focus is to keep everything as “peaceful” as possible. They will not rattle the cage. Peacekeepers allow themselves to do things that they know are wrong or counterproductive for the sake of keeping the peace.

#2. Peacemakers

Jesus would fall into this category if He were living in the world today. In Matthew 5:9 NIV Jesus says that peacemakers are blessed and called the children of God. Peacemakers are people who know that peace is not a response triggered by a feeling or action. Instead they know that peace is a long-term strategy. Peacemakers understand that in order to have real peace, sometimes life will be uncomfortable.

To summarize: Peacekeepers will go against the will of God to keep the peace. Peacemakers will fight for the will of God.

Quick Disclaimer: The bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 16:14 NIV to do everything through love. Being a peacemaker does not mean judging people that you think are doing the wrong thing. As Christians, we must remember that we have a calling to follow the example set by Jesus. Being a peacemaker needs to come from a position of love in our hearts toward others, never a place of judgement.

Love is key! Here is some continued reading on the topic of love. Without love, we cannot know true peace.

How to Be a Christian Peacemaker in the World Today

Notice throughout Jesus’ life in the new testament, He never judged or corrected unsaved individuals. He always approached them with grace, peace and love. But, Jesus treated people who claimed to be one of His followers (Christians) very different.

As believers, it is our job to encourage and disciple other believers. It is our job to step into fully following God and encouraging those within our sphere of influence to do the same.

I’ve noticed something about Christians these days. Many of us are simply ignoring (or tolerating) actions from other “Christians” who are living or acting contrary to the word of God; just to keep the peace. Christians that are blatantly living in sin are not receiving any sort of loving correction or accountability from other Christians. The sinful parts of their lifestyle is simply ignored.

This is not what God has called us to do!

It is our duty to hold our brothers and sisters in Christ accountable. We need to stand up for the things that we know to be biblically sound. Just because your area of influence within the body of Christ is happy and comfortable doesn’t mean that it’s living in a Godly way.

Those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. – James 3:18 NIV

Remember my disclaimer? Peacemaking must come from a place of love, not a place of judgement. Don’t point out the speck in your brother’s eye when you have a plank in your own. We all fall short. Always be improving yourself and helping those around you to improve as well. The goal needs to be biblical unity within the body of Christ. Let’s all help each other become better.

Related Post: Enable Others to Act and Watch Them Grow

The bible tells us not to conform to the pattern of the world. In many cases, that is what we have done. Our duty as believers is to fight for what we believe in, not join with what the world is doing to keep the peace.

I challenge and encourage to step out boldly to fight for peace. Become a peacemaker for God in your area of influence today!

Written by Alex Sanfilippo

My mission is to live a life honorable in every way to God my father. I am passionate about building disciples and strengthening the church. My daily goal is to be a positive influence on the people around me and to make the world a better place.

  • Eric Nelson

    “Many of us are simply ignoring (or tolerating) actions from other “Christians” who are living or acting contrary to the word of God”

    Lord, help us be better at this!

  • Laura O in AK

    Quite thought provoking. Yes, I do believe many are peacekeepers who hope that by not rocking the boat they will have peace. But, as you said, it isn’t a true peace. Being happy all the time is not what God calls us to experience. We can only grow through trials.

  • Tatyana Claytor

    Some excellent observations! I think we truly learn how to be peacemakers when we live in community with Christians. We cannot lovingly invest in people’s lives unless we are in the trenches with them. No amount of social media encouragement or pulpit preaching is going to be able to accomplish the hard work of helping other believers (and ourselves) conform to the image of Christ. Thank you for the timely reminder–great word!

    • So true Tatyana!

  • Garrett Thompson

    This is awesome man! Being a peacekeeper can easily turn someone into a legalistic person without them meaning to be, and that is why I think you are spot on with the disclaimer you included with this post;

    “Being a peacemaker does not mean judging people that you think are doing the wrong thing. As Christians, we must remember that we have a calling to follow the example set by Jesus. Being a peacemaker needs to come from a position of love in our hearts toward others, never a place of judgement.”

    • So true man! Thank you for the comment. I probably should have had that in the post haha