Wednesdays with Words: Cowardice and Sloth

In my year of }pacify{ one of the first things I’ve needed to determine is “what exactly is peace?” If the goal is to bring about peace, then knowing what that entails is very important.

I’ve been reading George Grant’s book Carry a Big Stick with the children for school.  In it there is a chapter on Roosevelt’s ideas about peace in the world. Grant quotes Roosevelt:

I’ve been thinking about this a lot as it relates to parenting. There is much to contemplate in this sentence. Peace without righteousness is not the highest goal. So if mom gives in just to get some quiet, that’s not good. How many times do we lessen expectations or requirements in order to avoid the argument? I do it too often. Cowardice. How often do I just do the task myself rather than instructing a perfectly able child to do it – or leave the task entirely undone – because it’s easier than stirring the pot? That’s sloth.

One of my friends was concerned about my word for 2017. It gave her a bad taste in her mouth. “Like giving in so they’re happy?” No. My word is }pacify{ not mollify. To mollify means “appease the anger or anxiety of (someone).” and “reduce the severity of (something); soften.” This is not real peace. It’s pseudo peace. Real peace comes with right action.

I’m afraid that in past years I’ve settled for mollify when I really need pacify.  That’s why it’s hard now. It involves “raising my body not my voice” (that line I learned from Mackenzie Monroe) and doing the work of training in righteousness. Peace involves action whether from training myself and others in my household that order is peaceful, that calm voices are peaceful, that trusting the Lord is peaceful, that doing the work yields peace.

Action to yield true peace is what is needed. Now that I better understand, I need to better put in action. Pacify, not mollify.



  1. Feelings come and feelings go and feelings are deceiving. My warrant is the Word of God- naught else is worth believing. Though all my heart should feel condemned for want of some sweet token, there is One greater than my heart whose Word cannot be broken. I'll trust in God's unchanging Word till soul and body server. For though all things shall pass away, His word shall stand forever. -Martin Luther

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