I had a thought-provoking discussion with a couple of my gal friends this morning while working on invites to kick off our Women of Hope year.
One of them has been faced with a situation with a fellow believer where she has witnessed a deep lack of integrity of this person. (they aren't close friends....but co-workers) She's praying about whether she's feeling led to actually confront this person, or if she's to simply pray for them and hope that they see the "error of their ways".
Her argument for doing the latter was that she is a "peacemaker". To which my other friend responded..."a peaceMAKER or peaceKEEPER? Peacemakers tend to have to sacrifice something in order to bring about peace in a situation. Whether it be the possibility of losing a relationship, a job, a life (?)......Peacekeepers tend to be more passive and not want to 'stir the pot', so therefore 'keep' the peace." Then we looked at Ezekiel 3:1-11, 16-21 (this is the New Living Translation) where Ezekiel was commanded by God to go into Israel to deliver a message because of their rebellion against God.
1 The voice said to me, “Son of man, eat what I am giving you—eat this scroll! Then go and give its message to the people of Israel.” 2 So I opened my mouth, and he fed me the scroll. 3 “Fill your stomach with this,” he said. And when I ate it, it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.
4 Then he said, “Son of man, go to the people of Israel and give them my messages. 5 I am not sending you to a foreign people whose language you cannot understand. 6 No, I am not sending you to people with strange and difficult speech. If I did, they would listen! 7 But the people of Israel won’t listen to you any more than they listen to me! For the whole lot of them are hard-hearted and stubborn. 8 But look, I have made you as obstinate and hard-hearted as they are. 9 I have made your forehead as hard as the hardest rock! So don’t be afraid of them or fear their angry looks, even though they are rebels.”
10 Then he added, “Son of man, let all my words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen to them carefully for yourself. 11 Then go to your people in exile and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ Do this whether they listen to you or not.”
16 After seven days the Lord gave me a message. He said, 17 “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel. Whenever you receive a message from me, warn people immediately. 18 If I warn the wicked, saying, ‘You are under the penalty of death,’ but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 19 If you warn them and they refuse to repent and keep on sinning, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved yourself because you obeyed me.
20 “If righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and ignore the obstacles I put in their way, they will die. And if you do not warn them, they will die in their sins. None of their righteous acts will be remembered, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 21 But if you warn righteous people not to sin and they listen to you and do not sin, they will live, and you will have saved yourself, too.”
Being a peaceMAKER is quite obviously the more difficult for someone who is generally a 'KEEPER'.