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Take five minutes to reflect on the ways it is better than you at mentoring and learn from it! Good mentors love to learn and are humble enough to take lessons from anywhere, anyone or anything! Place it in between you and your mentee and look at it in silence. This plant can form the basis of a hundred different conversations between you and your mentee, but this month, use it as a visual aid for the latest in our current series on the fruit of the Spirit, peace. Ask your mentee what this cactus ‘says’ about peace. How can it be a metaphor for the fruit of the Spirit, and how can peace be a fruit in their own life?

You may suggest one or two examples just to demonstrate what you are expecting them to do, but don’t rush to fill the silence. Allow your mentee to discover lessons for themselves, teach you lessons, and then enjoy finding new ideas together. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Peace is prickly. Peace doesn’t mean ‘comfort’ or ‘ease’. Although looking at this plant may feel peaceful, real peace can mean suffering, risk and heartache.
  • Peace can be overwatered. Cacti need very little water – you can quite easily kill them by overwatering. Take the peace God pours into you out into the ‘arid’ places and stay there - it is much more resilient inside you than you think and benefits the ecosystem out there much more than it does in a fertile garden. You can over-fill yourself with ‘churchy goodness’, which is counter-productive to what God wants to do in and through you. Be where people can benefit from your spiritual depth.

The Hebrew word ‘shalom’ means more accurately ‘completeness’ rather than ‘peace’. It is a powerful insight into how God sees peace. It does not just mean tranquillity. Jesus talks about peace as fighting for justice, unity and harmony with God’s best. Search ‘peace’ on and pick out several verses to look at together and discuss in light of that assertion.

  • How can we truly have peace until every part of God’s plan for humanity is complete?
  • What is the opposite of peace? What stops peace from happening in, and around you?