Before I go any further, please know my toes are pretty bruised right about now.
Whenever I think about a peacemaker, I think about someone that does their best to keep others calm, communicating, and rational. Unfortunately, I have also often thought of someone who turns the other cheek, every single time. And while that might sound really noble and Christian, like everything else we do, it's the motive behind the action that determines just how noble or Christian it is.
In writing about becoming an emotionally mature adult, Peter Scazzero writes about false peacemakers. Now, obviously that caught my attention because I couldn't wait to see what he was going to say. Until I realized he was describing me.
A false peacemaker is someone, who out of fear, avoids conflict and appeases people. Or in my words, keeps her mouth shut so as not to stir the pot because if I say how what you did or what you said made me feel or think, you might ignore my words, defend your position, decide I'm over-reacting, or determine I'm too high maintenance to be friends with or have a relationship with, and so therefore out of my own self-interst and self-respect, I protect myself and say nothing, and let you go on while I have anything but peace. And the worst part of this behavior, it automatically assumes the worst about the other person. Ouch, I know.
Now here's where you can get fired up. If you remain a false peacemaker and peace continues to elude you and your relationships are not as healthy as they could be or as God intends them to be, who's winning? You? The other person? God? No, no, and no. The winner is Satan. (Enter righteous anger.)
We already know that his M.O. is to steal, kill, and destroy. In this case, he's stealing our peace, killing our relationships, and destroying our joy. We were created to live in relationship with one another and if our relationships are suffering, we're in a heap of trouble. Think about it: Satan used the word of God to try and trip up Jesus. Obviously Jesus wasn't about to fall for it, but we do. We need to be aware of what's being whispered in our ears and hold it up against the whole of Scripture to know if it's godly counsel we are receiving or if it's a spirit we need to test and then disregard.
I can only guess that, like me, you can look back and find relationships that were lost due to false peacemaking. No relationship can be healthy and last under that condition. And while God's plan might be to restore them at some point, we can at least move forward with this information and be on guard against Satan so he doesn't get a foothold on any more. Let's just remember that even if he bested us, God's got our back and He's continually working all things out for good.