“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called Sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). We have been studying the Beatitudes in our church every week for the last several months. Our Pastor (John Miller) just covered the verse above and offered incredible insights as to what being a peacemaker actually means.
He shared that peacemakers address issues, they do not ignore them. Peacemakers speak in truth and in love. He recited this quote, “Love without truth is hypocrisy, truth without love is brutality.” The balance is key.
So often, we are afraid to confront inappropriate actions (or boundary violations) for the fear of another person’s response. Thus, the bad behavior on the part of the other person remains unaddressed and can eventually erupt into something far more serious.
It takes courage to stand up to a bully, or to someone who has power, but failure to do so does not result in peace for yourself or others. No, they just continue to get away with their bad behavior and make other people’s lives miserable.
I understand that if you get a tongue lashing for standing up for what you know is right, you may never want to speak out again. I’ve been told that it is a waste of time to talk to inflexible people, but I have to believe that some little seed was planted that will help the person grow. This is why setting boundaries is so constructive. It is both liberating and edifying.
For me, setting boundaries as a child often meant harsh reactions or the withdrawal of love. As an adult, I have refrained from setting boundaries for the same fear. But now, I understand that the failure to speak does not create healthy, peaceful environments or relationships, it creates chaotic ones. Ones where you feel helpless and even violated.
Every situation is different and needs to be evaluated, but my hope in sharing this, is that you are inspired to address boundary issues with others in love, instead of walking in fear. When you start to stand for what is right, resistance and invalid assessments of who you are as person are sure to come. But everyone knows that unhealthy people cannot handle another person holding them accountable. It’s ok. Check your heart, ask God to guide your words, and He will take care of the rest.
Be brave my friends and remember you have a King who lives in you and He is always on the side of the peacemaker.