Am I Doing What Leads to Peace?

I stood a short distance away, pretending not to eavesdrop.  The neighborhood kids bickered back and forth about whose turn it was to be ‘it’ in the game they were playing. Every ounce of my controlling nature wanted to intervene and solve the problem for them, but I held back.

I wanted them to enjoy playing together, so I waited for them to resolve their differences or declare a truce.

Yet I also knew if they couldn’t come to an agreement soon, I’d have to step in and say something. Call it mom instinct. There are times when I can let the kids work it out themselves, but there are also times to let my voice be heard, loud and clear.

When these conflicts arise with our kids, we can rely on that parental instinct to give us a nudge in the right direction. But what about when we are in conflict with others? How do we know when to speak up, and when to be silent?

 

Life is full of conflict. Work, family, social media, church.

 

When conflict arises, we look to Jesus’ example for how to deal with it in a Christ-like way. I know this in my heart, but I still struggle with knowing what to do!

Jesus faced conflict all the time. Sometimes He spoke up, and other times He stayed silent.

 

“Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, ‘Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?’ But Jesus remained silent. Then the high priest said to him, ‘I demand in the name of the living God—tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.’ Jesus replied, ‘You have said it. And in the future you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.’” Matthew 26:62-64 NLT

 

In the passage above, Jesus demonstrates both the power of the spoken Word and the power of silence, all in one conversation. He experienced unfathomable battles and through it all He showed grace, uncorrupted by the sin of the flesh.

 

I don’t know about you, but my sinful flesh can get in the way. Ugh.

 

We can get so passionate about our beliefs can’t we? We want so much to voice our opinions, that silence is a struggle. But if I’m not careful, the volume of my own voice can mute God’s message.

Sometimes the volume of my own voice can mute God's message. (Tweet this.)

 

So what’s the answer? How do I know when to keep silent and when to speak up? Paul gives us hope through these inspired words.

“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Romans 14:19 NIV

As I read this verse, a few questions come to mind...

Am I doing what leads to peace?

Am I relying on the leading of the Holy Spirit?

Am I trusting God’s Word in my heart for guidance?

Do my actions point to Him or to me?

 

The truth is, I can’t give you a fix-all solution for conflict. But I do know this. Using these questions to direct me through a conversation with God about it, I can push my sinful flesh out of the way and trust Him to direct my steps.

And this little sentence helps too.

Lord, help me always do what leads to peace. (Tweet this.)

 

So as we face conflicts this week (and you know we will), let’s remember God’s instruction through Paul. Whether it means speaking our minds or keeping our mouths shut, let’s do what leads to peace.

 

Kristine

Aligned Parenting Workbook

As part of our For Real This Time series, special guest author Zohary Ross will be sharing with us on the blog today. Zohary has created the most fabulous resource! If you have children at home, you will love it. I know I do! I'm thankful to have her as our guest. Please welcome Zohary. You will be blessed by her words.

Have any of you ever woken up with a kink on your neck? Or turned the wrong way and felt a shooting pain in you back?

 Yes? You know what I mean.

 When I was in high school I experienced my first back spasm. It hurt so bad that I couldn’t move or breathe. Unfortunately it was only the beginning of my life long struggle with “back issues”; the spasms continued into my late teens and twenties and the pain eventually got worse.

 I’ve had to live with the physical pain that comes from a misaligned body. When my hips and back are “off” or kiddywampus (as my MIL would say) and my body hurts, I go in for an adjustment to get realigned and I feel relief.

 But I’ve realized the same thing happens when our lives get out of alignment.

 Even worse than physical pain is the pain that comes from a life that is out of alignment.

 

Life hurts or at the very least can feel really uncomfortable or “off” when our time, habits, and actions do not align with our core values, passions and priorities. We just don’t feel “right” until we are truly living what we believe with purpose and passion.

 

There is a soul ache that comes from a misaligned life. And a misaligned life can become a misaligned family.

 

I had my first child when I was 18, and by the time I was 21 I was a single mom of two boys. During my early years of motherhood I rarely thought of the home culture that I wanted to create for my little family unit. Life then was about survival --I was going to college full-time, working full-time and being a mom. I thought I had to do it all and I thought I had to do all things at the same time.

This year my oldest child turned 19, and as I looked back I was saddened by what I consider to be the years of missed opportunity. Because we were in survival mode I was not intentional about what I wanted our family to be about. I only did what I thought I needed to do; I didn’t know at the time how to make motherhood my own.

 Eventually, I decided there had to be another way. I was not a “victim” of motherhood, destined to go through the motions and raise my children according to what society deemed right. I was the designer of our home, and our values were its building blocks. .

Just like our bodies can ache when out of alignment, our families will suffer when our time, habits and actions are not aligned with our core values, passions and priorities. Yet I know from working with so many families that when life gets busy implementing a plan where our values are consistently implemented in our home culture can be tricky.

 So I decided to create a resource that would help families get out of defense mode and instead get proactive about the home culture they wanted to live out.

 Basically, I created what I wish I had had as a young mom. The Aligned Parenting Workbook is a product of my own journey to create a home culture where our actions, habits and family traditions are all aligned with our core values -- those things we believe to be most important but also as a result of the need for a guide to help families address the question “what do WE want to be about”?

 

It’s not a how-to book but more of a “what”?

·         What do we value?

·         What skills and practical experiences do we want our kids to one day leave home with?

·         What meaningful traditions to we want to establish in our home?

·         What boundaries need to be put into place in order to protect our family time?

It’s a practical tool that will help families get serious FOR REAL this time and move beyond good intentions and into action.

 Because I truly believe there is a better way to lead your family: YOUR WAY. The Aligned Parenting Workbook will help you define what that looks like and design a plan to live it out.

 

You can purchase the book here. Click the image below:

 

Zohary Ross is a writer, speaker and life coach. She is passionate about living authentically and equipping and encouraging women to live “all in” with alignment of values, beliefs and actions and she tries to live out what she coaches. Her background is in counseling and education. She has a mild addiction to mint chocolate, office supplies (especially pens), and personality tests (she’s a Nine on the Enneagram and a ENFJ if you’re into that sort of thing). Zohary lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her awesome husband and four children. 

Connect with her on her web site at zoharyross.com 

or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.