WHEN A PEACEMAKER BECOMES A FIGHTER
When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men. Genesis 14:14
Abram surprises us all when he takes up arms to fight. He has always been a peacemaker. No one who reads his story in the preceding chapters has any idea he has a small trained army within his own household. Now, they are revealed and are released to go fight the enemies who have taken his nephew, Lot, captive. Though Abram’s brave men are greatly outnumbered, they are fierce warriors with God on their side. They defeat the captors and free Lot. This is not the first or last time we will see God’s economics astound us.
It’s always a shock when a peacemaker is willing to fight. It’s equally shocking when a fighter lays down his sword and pulls a chair up to the table to seek peace. Both have earned a reputation for responding to life in a certain way but out of the blue, they make different choices and shock everyone around them.
Each of us is bent, because of our personality, more toward one or the other. Gentle spirits love peace and hate conflict. Feisty spirits love a good fight and see those who seek peace as being weak. We build a track record for only responding one way and those around us count on us reacting as we have always done. I am a peacemaker, by nature, and not easily inflamed. It takes a lot to anger me and while that can appear admirable, I can tell you that it can be a fault. A friend once told me, after hearing a few stories where I was badly harassed by others, that I was patient to a fault. She was right.
A balanced child of God, one who is like Jesus, does not act solely out of his personality type. He listens to Jesus and follows Him even when he is asked to do something difficult. A fighter needs to learn to be still. A peacemaker needs to learn how to fight. There is a time to take the hill and there is a time to flee conflict.
Many of us can live our lives thinking that the bents of our personality are righteous. Peacemakers applaud all peacemaking and throw stones at those who always want to lead a charge. Fighters ridicule peacemakers and believe them to be weak. May we meet in the middle? Both are needed and both, acting under the direction of the Spirit, play pivotal roles in the purposes of God.
Teach me when to fight and not retreat. Give me the boldness to step outside of my peacemaker box. Amen
Journal Question: Which are you, a peacemaker or one who does not shrink from challenges and confrontations? What can you learn from an opposite today, a godly opposite? Whom do you admire that is unlike you? Ask God to stretch you in a more balanced direction.