“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.”
- Matthew 5:9 (MSG)
Or, as you may have heard it stated in other translations, “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
Jesus is clear that those who strive to make peace are blessed in the eyes of God. It’s not enough to simply avoid conflict; it is important to actively seek to end it peacefully.
Four examples of famous peacemakers
Have you ever seen a bumper sticker on a vehicle with a picture of a rifle that says, “Blessed are the Peacemakers” below it? That’s probably not what Jesus had in mind when He talked about people making peace, especially when you look at the rest of the verse. Instead, Jesus probably wants us to look more like these people:
- Mahatma Gandhi — Gandhi is famous for inspiring Indians to seek their independence from Great Britain through nonviolent process. The way he wanted to reach the goal of independence was as important as the goal itself.
- Nelson Mandela — Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for opposing apartheid in South Africa. After he was released, he became the first democratically elected president of South Africa. Rather than attack the former white ruling class, he sought to forgive them and work alongside them to build a better nation.
- Mother Teresa — Mother Teresa was a Catholic nun who actively sought to end poverty and suffering around the world. She strove hard throughout her life to volunteer and serve others to make the world a better place.
- Malala Yousafzai — Malala is a Pakistani woman who was shot by the Taliban in her youth because she was a pioneer for equal education in Pakistan. She survived the assassination attempt and went on to become a leader of peace in her country, striving not to seek vengeance against the Taliban, but to continue to speak up for the right of education of every child in her country and the world, including the sons and daughters of the Taliban.
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