When Adam and Eve decided that their way was better than God’s way and broke God’s rule, they changed the relationship between God and His creation. Where once everything and everyone could be in the presence of God, now we were at odds with God. God could have done anything He wanted, including wiping us out and starting over. But instead God decided to make peace with us. Ultimately God did this through His Son, Jesus.
When Jesus died and then rose from the dead, He paid the price for everything that was wrong and unfair in this world. Because of Jesus, we can have peace.We don’t have to get even. Instead, we can reflect the character of Christ by caring for others and making peace.
Key Question: Why is it so hard to give up what you think is fair? Fairness is a big deal to preteens. It’s often their biggest complaint when something doesn’t go their way. As kids start with this question, they’ll discover how God thinks about fairness and how they can be more willing to let go of what they think is fair.
We start the month in Genesis 13:5-18, God blessed Abram and his nephew, Lot, with a large amount of flocks and herds, so many that the land they were on couldn’t sustain all of them. The workers on each side were not getting along. Abram and Lot knew it was time to separate. Although God had promised Abram the land of Canaan and had a right to take whatever he wanted, Abram allowed Lot to choose first. Abram let go of the best land in order to make peace with his family.
Bottom Line: Prove you care more about others by letting go of “what’s fair.”Sometimes choosing peace means letting go of what we want or our perception of ourselves. Preserving the relationship is more important that protecting our own sense of fairness.
Key Question: What are ways you can be a peacemaker? It’s one thing to say that peace is important, it’s another thing to actively work towards making peace. As kids go about their day, we hope they stop, look around, and see how they can help make peace between people they know who are experiencing an argument.
In 1 Samuel 25:1-35, Abigail intervenes when her husband picks a fight with David. Abigail immediately knew what was happening and made a plan to present gifts to David and calm his anger. Her quick actions promoted peace between the two men.
Bottom Line: Prove you care more about others by being part of the solution.Peace is often about helping stop an argument before it can escalate into something worse. Acting as a peacemaker between others will take time and energy, but God can give us the strength to help others make peace. Sometimes our outside perspective is what someone might need to see a peaceful solution.
Key Question: How do you walk away from a fight? If you walk into a fifth-grade classroom, you’ll start to discover that even if fists aren’t flying, kids fight with each other. Walking away from a fight can be one of the hardest things a kid does because they feel like their entire reputation is at stake. We pray kids leave with a game plan for how they can make the wise choice and walk away from a fight.
Throughout Genesis 26, we find Abraham’s son, Isaac, settles in his father’s land and reopens some wells. When his new neighbors argue with him, he simply moves to a new place and digs new wells. Isaac had every right to fight for those wells, but he chose peace instead.
Bottom Line: Prove you care more about others by walking away from a fight.Sometimes creating peace with someone means walking away even if we’re not wrong. Often it takes a stronger person to have the self-control to walk away.
Key Question: Who do you need to make peace with? Hopefully, the kids in our preteen environments aren’t experiencing fights with their friends, but more than likely a few of them are. As kids learn that God went to great lengths to make peace with us, they can pinpoint exactly whom they need to offer forgiveness and peace.
We finish out our month in the book of Colossians. In Colossians 1:20, Paul reminds us that us that peace originated with God’s love for us and Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. And as we’ll discover in Colossians 3:15, we should live at peace with those around us because of everything Christ did for us.
Bottom Line: We can make peace with others because God made peace with us.Jesus is our ultimate example of peace. Because He made peace between God and us, we should strive to make peace a part of how we work together as the Body of Christ