Peacemaker vs. Peacekeeper

September 29, 2021

A Peace Maker has healthy boundaries.

Did you know there’s a major difference between Peace Making and Peace Keeping? This was a big revelation for me when I was taught this. I always thought I was being a Peacemaker, as instructed in the Bible. However, the way I was going about it was all wrong. I was actually just “keeping the peace”. This is a typical issue for those with the Gift of Mercy as their main Spiritual Gift. (It’s me – I’m “those people”).

A Peace Keeper is one who will do anything to not rock the boat. Peacekeepers tend to just let people have their way, even if it is harmful to themselves. As long as the people around them are “happy”, they feel they have accomplished their job. A peacekeeper generally ends up pretty anxious and on high alert. They are always looking for ways to “fix it” for their loved ones. It hurts them more to see others uncomfortable than for themselves to be in constant pain.

The Peace Maker on the other hand knows how to set boundaries. A Peace Makers boundaries are not “peace at any cost” for them, it is Peace in as far as they are able. A peacemaker understands that they are only responsible for their own behavior and responses. While both are trying to help, a peacemaker understands what is truly helpful. A Peacemaker is someone who has a good balance of the Gift of Discernment with their Gift of Mercy.

Wisdom in Peacemaking

James 3:17 & 18 made this come alive for me.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness

James 3;17 & 18 NIV

The wisdom of Heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving… Peacemakers have wisdom. They sow in peace by making sure they are responding first of all in Purity. A Peace Makers boundaries are healthy and strong. A Peace Keeper will end up sacrificing purity to keep the peace. This is not wisdom and will result in all kinds of mess. Peace Keepers tend to end up in abusive relationships and are very susceptible to trauma bonding. A peacemaker on the other hand will have healthy boundaries to keep the purity of themselves, their homes and their loved ones in tact first.

Peacekeeping and trauma bonds

Think of someone in a Peace Keeper’s life that they already know is toxic as a wolf. The Peace Keeper is safe in their house, with their fence guarding the yard and the sheep in it. They know this person is toxic because they have already been through traumatic experiences or abuse at this person’s hand. However, they are still trauma bonded and have not learned yet how to transition to peacemaker.

When the wolf comes in sheep's clothing the peacekeeper tends to choose to let him in, in hopes he will behave as a sheep. That hope for the other person to be happy, especially to be happy with them, causes them to weaken the boundaries. They feel they are being cautious by watching and seeing, dealing with things if they come up. They will say things like, “I’m keeping my eye on it, I won’t let it escalate.” The problem is the wolf is already in with the sheep. The shepherdess does not have control over the wolf, she let go of her control of the situation as soon as she opened the gate. She has just set herself up for another crisis situation. Letting them in the gate gives them easier access to the house!

Peace Makers and boundaries