Monday, May 6, 2013

Leaders, Peace Out

Have you ever compared the words, make and keep? Maybe not, but recently I have. Perhaps these words have been milling around in my mind because I need to know how the Lord wants me to proceed in a difficult situation. (Of course I want to keep the peace-but in doing so, is there a cost? Maybe.) I desire to demonstrate God's love, peace, truth, mercy, justice, and compassion. How can this be done in the midst of a potentially "unpeaceful" struggle?

A few weeks ago I wrote a post titled, AHHH and Awe. I recommended 5 tips on how to parent young adults. Here are a few to add:  zip it, offer advice when asked, and allow the young person to own and work out his life choices. I still believe that to be solid advice.

HOWEVER, There are times it is important to step up to the plate and be a Peace-Maker rather than a Peace-Keeper. In fact it is a leadership skill to be developed by both parents and kids. I think we have become confused by what peace looks like and how we achieve it.

I did this little exercise yesterday. I contrasted the words, keep and make. Here's my list of ten comparisons:

Peace Keeper                                               Peace Maker
*place of weakness                                        *place of strength
*motivated by fear                                         *motivated by faith
*passive                                                        *pro-active
*pacify                                                          *protect, defend
*tolerates injustice                                         *stands up to injustice
*status quo                                                   * change
*looks the other way                                     *engages
*rolls over                                                     *stands up
*values silence                                              *values speaking up
*conforms                                                    *transforms

When we keep- we are holding on, maintaining, refraining, and conforming. When we make- we are shaping, creating, causing, changing, and transforming.

Our children are living in a culture that continually challenges and bombards their belief system. Society encourages them to be peace-keepers rather than peace-makers. We need to arm our kids with the tools they need to be leaders. My friend and fellow Mentor Mom from The MOM Initiative, Julie Sanders,wrote an article about raising kids with an urge to lead. She says, Don't rescue or interfere, to build strength and perseverance. Encourage, model, and pray for your child's leadership skills to provide guidance and motivation. Wise counsel.

In your home, value both mercy and justice.Be humble and strong while communicating with family members. Demonstrate how to lead with both truth and grace. Scour Scripture to discover what God has to say on a given topic.

Today, more than ever, our kids need the tools to be a peace-maker. A peace-maker doesn't sit idly by, hoping no one will get upset or feel challenged. A  peace-maker changes the status-quo with love and truth. And don't you agree, the societal status quo could use some transforming?
 Leaders are peace-MAKERS. Jesus, the Prince of Peace says, 

Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God. 
Matthew 5:9

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