Men of God are taught to be peace makers. Studying the book The Measure of a Man, by Gene Getz and specifically the chapter on Peace Makers.
What does it mean to be a Peacemaker exactly? It appears that mediating or facilitating an arbitration between opposing sides. We are to be fair and just. We are to be humble and think of others above ourselves. Jesus informed James and John as well as all of the disciples of what it means to be the the first in heaven. We must be like Christ and be the servant of all.
Much of this seems self-evident. Maybe it is more enlightening to see what would be on the other end of spectrum. What is the opposite of this? Ones that are contentious can create an environment that is not peaceful. What is the evidence that we may be contentious? Could it be that we are opinionated, too bold, antagonistic, and always having to be right? Do we anger easily? Do we always find ourselves playing the devil’s advocate or just like being a contrarian. If so, then we may be adding to an unhealthy environment for those around us, including those closest to us.
The first step is to being honest in our self-evaluation. What would our friends and family say about us in this regard. Might they surprise us and be a little to free with examples that prove we may have issues with being contentious?
If we come to the place where we say, “nope, that is not me”, then we may want to look at it a bit more soberly.
In 1 John 1:10 it states, If we claim we have not sinned, we have made him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
If we fear the Lord, then we are taking God seriously. To take God serious, means we need to take His word seriously. Are we making a liar of God? Is his word in us? These questions are where the rubber meets the road. If we align ourselves under Christ and are obedient to him, then we can be at peace. That may mean we have to dig deeper into these triggers to free ourselves from those traps.
If we are not sure, then we should take people who know us and in whom we trust to ask if they can give any examples of us being contentious or overbearing. If we have identified it, then we can fix it. It is important to understand what the triggers are. Is it caused by poor parental examples? Is it trigger by poor habits or from insecurities? It is fair to uncover those triggers and bring those to the foot of the cross. We can then get into transparent relationships with other Godly men who will keep you accountable.
To be a peacemaker, we must first be at peace ourselves. We need to be aligned with the one true God. The God who took all of our sin, shame and scorn and took them upon himself. Our righteousness is not in our works, but in the gift of the cross. Being contentious can be an early tell as to where we are at any given time as it relates to our alignment under Christ.
If you see it, then do not brush it off. Lean into it and then lean into Jesus.