Conflict or Peacemaker?
There was a time in my life when I avoided conflict by any means necessary. Translation: I kept silent as I was dying inside and never spoke my truth. Everyone thought I was the most easygoing person in the group because I went along with whatever they suggested even when my insides were silently screaming, “He_ _ no!”
I did my share of crying; it’s just that I was careful not to ever let anyone see. I was Flexible Flo until one day I just had no more bend or stretch left in me and so I began to resist. You would have thought I’d developed some highly contagious disease. So-called friends began to drop off like flies in a Raid factory.
Still, I just couldn’t budge; I was tired of yielding when I needed to stand. I learned that people enjoyed my company as long as I was agreeable with their agenda and never pushed one of my own. They wanted a follower, not another leader. I had their company but never their respect. I realized that somewhere along the line, I’d lost my own.
It’s great to be a peacemaker; the Bible says these will be blessed. However, there’s a difference between being a peacemaker and a peacekeeper. Peacemakers unite people and can find common ground when opinions and causes vary. Peacekeepers pick up where the makers leave off, once an accord has been reached.
The issue is that this last group sometimes starts their work too soon and will compromise their own values and standards trying to please everyone. It’s an impossible task and no one ends up satisfied. It’s important to know your role and responsibility and to maintain your own standards. How can you lead anyone if you’re following everyone’s whims?
Maintain peace within yourself and others will trust you to help lead them to higher ground.