Peace is not just the absence of violence, but the presence of justice and harmony. Peace is not a state of being, but a state of doing– we must work for it continuously and encourage those in our communities to do the same.
P (Pray) – Any kind of peace-building starts with connecting to our Creator. Get closer to God through consistent prayer. Strengthen your faith and renew your intentions in working for peace. Always put God first and wait for His signs and guidance. Trust in God’s timing and tools.
E (Encourage) – Peace-building is all about being encouraging to others. Stay encouraged by focusing on God and that you ultimately do this work for Him. Resist the temptation to compare your results with others. It will either make you proud or leave you discouraged. God wants all of us to work for good, no matter the outcome in this lifetime. This becomes especially important when you face difficulties. Peace-building work is not easy.
A (Ask) – Peace-builders are learners. When you stop learning, you stop building for peace. We all have assumptions about Christians or Muslims influenced by media, potential negative experiences we’ve had, or simply for not knowing any Christians or Muslims personally. The way to address this is by asking questions. What we don’t know will contribute to the fear/suspicion and will upend any peace-building efforts.
C (Collaborate) – Working together on a service project takes a friendship to the next level. Rally around a common goal that your group can focus on whether it be taking care of homeless, orphans, poor people, or the environment. As the proverb says, “Many hands make light work.”
E (Equip) – Lead in peace-building work by example and equip others to do the same. Make the peace-building work relatable by offering up your story as one example to family and friends, coworkers and classmates. You don’t have to know everything; just share the one step you took and help others take that step as well as you learn about your next step.