7 Undeniable Qualities of a Peacemaker

Meredith N Mills
7 Undeniable Qualities of a Peacemaker

How can Christians promote peace in a world filled with conflict? What qualities characterize those who work for harmony and reconciliation?

The theme of peace weaves through Scripture like a golden thread. Jesus left his disciples with the promise of peace (John 14:27). Ephesians describes the good news of our faith as “the gospel of peace” (6:15) and God calls Christians to “live in peace” (2 Corinthians 13:11).

But what is this peace the Bible describes? Is it the absence of hardship or avoidance of conflict? Can everyday Christians experience it, or is it reserved for a few “super saints?”

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What Is Biblical Peace?

God’s concept of peace far exceeds pleasant life circumstances. The Engedi Resource Center explains, “We tend to understand it as the absence of war or as calmness of spirit. But along with these ideas, the Hebrew word shalom also carries a greater connotation of well-being, health, safety, prosperity, wholeness, and completeness.”

Like a puzzle with all its pieces in place, shalom means things line up with their intended design. A peacemaker, then, is someone who works to restore what is broken or incomplete — especially in the context of relationships.

Jesus is the ultimate peacemaker. Isaiah prophesied of the coming Messiah as the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) and Ephesians 2:14 tells us Jesus is our peace. His life, death, and resurrection made reconciliation with the Father possible for all who come to him in faith (Romans 5:10). Engedi clarifies, “This is the Hebraic understanding of salvation, not just that we will go to heaven when we die, but that we have an unbroken, loving relationship with God here on earth.”

Biblical peace, then, is rooted in our peace with God — beginning at salvation and growing through our ongoing connection with him. According to Jesus, we can experience this inner rest even in times of trouble and pain.  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

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7 Qualities of a Peacemaker

1. Secure Identity

Since we have peace with God through Jesus, we can experience a growing peace with ourselves — regardless of our past mistakes, our current struggles, or the opinions of others. 

He’s given us a new identity:

- Well-loved children (1 John 3:1)

- Wanted family members (Romans 8:15-16)

- New creations (2 Corinthian 5:17)

- His masterpieces (Ephesians 2:10)

- Friends of God (John 15:15)

- Citizens of his kingdom (Ephesians 2:19)

- Ambassadors of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:20)

- People who are being transformed (Philippians 1:6)

He’s lavished us with good gifts:

- Reconciliation with God (2 Corinthians 5:18)

- His indwelling Spirit (Romans 5:5)

- Confident access to his heart (Hebrews 10:19-23)

- Abundant favor (John 1:16)

- Forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7)

- His goodness credited to us (2 Corinthians 5:21)

- Loving care for our needs (Matthew 6: 25-34)

- Provision to live out our callings (2 Peter 1:3)

- Wisdom learned through relating to Christ (Colossians 2:2-3)

This describes our identity as God’s children — regardless of what our emotions or other people tell us. As his acceptance takes root and we learn to own our God-given identity, we can extend his peace to others. We can live loved instead of needy, at rest instead of striving, secure instead of desperate for others’ approval. 

When our hearts are at peace, we’re free to live as peacemakers.

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2. Welcoming Attitude

A welcoming heart forms the core of peacemaking. In Romans 14, God tells us how to relate with Christians who practice their faith differently from us — with acceptance. Blue Letter Bible explains that acceptance involves extending friendship and granting access to one’s heart. It’s like leaving the door unlocked so our friends can walk on in. It’s the kind of welcome that’s easy to offer those who are like us, but hard to extend to those who are different. 

And yet, because God has accepted us, we’re called to welcome others in the same way (Romans 14:3).

To live as peacemakers, we must understand how God welcomes us, because when we live accepted, we have acceptance to give others. This welcoming heart equips us to promote peace in our relationships. It helps us communicate with curiosity and a desire to understand. It teaches us to cultivate healthy conversations where people feel heard and not shut down — even around subjects where we disagree.

3. Intentional Purpose

In Luke 1:78-79, we read that Jesus guides our feet into the path of peace. To guide, as Blue Letter Bible says, involves removing any hindrances which block the path toward someone. Jesus took away the obstacles which stood between us and God. He paid for our sin and purchased our freedom so we could draw near to the God of peace (Ephesians 3:12).

As his followers, we have the privilege of guiding people to God, too. “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18). When we help people overcome the obstacles blocking their path toward God (both non-Christians and believers), we are living as peacemakers. 

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hands offering a red crocheted heart

4. Humble Heart

Humility shows up repeatedly in Bible passages talking about Christian unity. (See Romans 12:3-18, Ephesians 4:1-3, Philippians 2:1-11 for starters.) Often misunderstood, humility isn’t self-deprecation or self-hatred. On the contrary, humility holds an accurate opinion of oneself. Romans 12:3 instructs, “Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.”

Jesus used humility to describe himself (Matthew 11:28-30). Philippians 2:6-8 shows what this looked like in his life. He knew his divinity but chose not to “use it to his advantage” (Philippians 2:6-11). Instead of holding himself aloof, he became one of us. He served in both menial and miraculous ways as he brought his peace to earth.

When we, like Jesus, are secure in our God-given identity, we can love, honor, and serve others from a heart of humility. We’re free to work for peace, regardless of the response we may receive.

5. Healthy Boundaries

We can only love well, however, when we maintain healthy personal boundaries. Jesus modeled boundary setting as he lived for his Father’s pleasure alone. He prioritized secluded time in prayer. He didn’t heal every sick person in Israel, and he didn’t allow the crowds to dictate how he conducted his ministry. Through his example, we see that healthy boundary setting is rooted in obedience to God (John 5:19,30; 8:28).

Knowing our limitations, being committed to God’s call on our lives, respecting ourselves as images bearers of God – these essential choices help preserve the peace of our own souls. Only when our hearts are at rest can we live as effective peacemakers.

This takes deep reliance on God’s Spirit to help us discern when to sacrifice and when to say no. As we learn to live for his pleasure, graciously refusing to be controlled by others’ expectations, we’ll have his peace to extend to others.

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6. Life-Giving Speech

“The tongue has the power of life and death,” Proverbs 18:21 reminds us. As peacemakers, life-giving speech forms a crucial aspect of our calling. Through our words, we can help others find peace with God and live in harmony with each other. 

What does this look like? It’s seen when we’re slow to argue (2 Timothy 2:23-24). It shows up as we prioritize listening and understanding, with an aim toward harmony (Romans 14:19, James 1:19). It leads us to respect and honor one another (Romans 12:10, 1 Peter 3:15). It helps us to pursue justice, to love mercy, and to walk in humility (Micah 6:8). It marks our speech with kindness and truth (Proverbs 3:3, NASB). 

All these actions come from the empowering, transforming presence of God’s Spirit within us. As we live connected to the Prince of Peace, he forms his character in our hearts, giving us peacemaking words to share with others.

7. Doing What We Can

Romans 12:18 reminds us that ultimately, making peace is bigger than our personal choices: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Peacemaking always involves more than one party. Just as it takes two or more to disagree, it takes two or more to create harmony. God calls us to do our part — to extend welcome and work for peace, to walk in humility, set healthy boundaries, and speak in life-giving ways. 

Sometimes, though, others are unwilling or unable to meet us in a place of peace. In these situations, we can rest, knowing we’ve done what we can. We can pray for harmony, wholeness, and restored relationships, and then entrust our circumstances to the God of peace.

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Peacekeeping or Peacemaking?

Keeping the peace and living as peacemakers are two very different lifestyles. 

Keeping the peace looks like avoiding conflict, dodging hard conversations, or ignoring broken situations. It sacrifices healing for surface happiness and often leads to shallow friendships and the absence of real connection. 

True peacemaking, however, prioritizes God’s kind of peace (Romans 14:17-19). Peace rooted in restoration with God. Peace that promotes wholeness. Peace that mends and leads to flourishing.

As we walk with God, he’ll teach us to discern the difference and show us how to work for his kind of peace.

When Life Isn’t Peaceful

Even though we’ve been reconciled to God, enjoy a new identity, and are equipped to spread his peace, sometimes our own hearts are in turmoil. How do we live as peacemakers when difficult seasons overwhelm us? When circumstances break our hearts? When we or others set in motion events that cause deep brokenness? 

The Psalms are full of raw prayers from people wrestling with similar questions. David cried out, “My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long?” (Psalm 6:3). The sons of Korah wrote, “My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’” (Psalm 42:3). 

Right now, we live in the space between the cross and Jesus’ return. He’s building his kingdom in hearts around the globe. He’s restoring and mending and making things new. But life here is still broken. Creation still groans. Humans still wound one another. Sickness and death still invade without warning.

Jesus’ promise of peace beckons us back to the Prince of Peace. He calls us to bring our authentic selves — pouring out the thoughts and emotions, the questions and doubts, the anxiety and agony raging in our souls. This honest place can be holy ground as we can experience Immanuel — God with us — in the middle of our pain (Psalm 116:7, Hebrews 4:16). 

Psalm 42 gives a beautiful example of the psalmist processing his inner turmoil in God’s presence. He acknowledges his pain to the Lord (verses 3, 9-10). He asks himself probing questions (verse 5a, 11a). He remembers God — who God has been for him, and the love God has lavished on him (verse 6-8). And as the psalmist pours out his heart, hope once again takes root in his soul (verse 5b, 11b).

As we allow God to care for us in the deepest part of our being, mending our brokenness and forming his character in our lives, we’ll experience growing peace in our souls. This peace in us will overflow through us, equipping us to bring his peace to our everyday spaces.

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Meredith Mills headshotMeredith N Mills writes about letting go of the try-harder life through knowing God’s heart and resting in his grace. She’s passionate about helping wounded and weary Christians build (and rebuild) authentic, life-giving faith. You can download her 7-day devotional, Flourish: Devotions from the Garden to Help You Thrive, and subscribe for her email devotions, Multifaceted: Reflections on the Heart of God, at MeredithNMills.com/freebie-library. She’d love to connect with you on InstagramThreads, and Facebook.