How to Choose Peace: Are You Making Wise Choices?

First keep the peace within yourself, and then you can also bring peace to others. ~ Thomas a Kempis

If you want more peace in your life, you must recognize that it is a choice you make, not something that just happens to you. You choose peace or stress moment by moment, day after day. If your life is filled with turmoil, worry and tension, you have chosen to give those thoughts and emotions control. Let me explain …

When you were little, you quickly learned there were rewards for right behavior.

  • No tantrums in the grocery store meant a treat when you got home.
  • Good grades received praise and – sometimes – money.
  • Doing chores on time and with a good attitude earned extra privileges.
  • Getting homework done before dinner meant extra TV time.

The decision was yours. If you choose poorly, you didn’t get to take advantage of the benefits. They didn’t disappear. The treats and the television were still there. You just lost the privilege until you began making better choices. In addition, there was probably some pain involved if you made bad ones. You get the idea.

Sometimes those choices seemed harsh: “But, mom, everybody else is going!” Whine, whine, whine.

When you didn’t want to do what you knew you should, everyone around you knew how you felt! Grumble, grumble, gripe. I’ll bet you single-handedly chased peace out the back door!

Then you grew up. You left home and started making your own decisions. Yeah! And you discovered that you still have to make wise choices, regardless of how you ‘feel’ about the situation. Go ahead; tell me you’d go to work if you didn’t get a paycheck!

God’s Way … or the World’s

The world sends constant opportunities for worry, stress, anger, envy and every other negative emotion.  It is up to you to choose peace.

Peace is part of the Blessing of God. It is yours by right of covenant. But just like when you were a kid, you won’t get the benefit if you aren’t choosing wisely.

The longer you make poor choices, even seemingly insignificant ones, the greater the penalty. It’s built into the system. The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). That’s the devil’s territory, for the Bible clearly tells you that he comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). Jesus came to bring you life and peace.

Don’t Lose Your Peace

The choice seems elementary, yet so many people choose poorly.

How can we so easily lose our peace in the search for fun or escape, vengeance or control?

I mentally debated the word ‘lose’. Do we give up our peace on purpose? Do we surrender peace as insignificant or unnecessary? Are we so spiritually unaware that we don’t recognize its value? Do we think it’s a worthy trade?

No, I think we actually do ‘lose’ our way in the bombardment of the world’s stresses and enticements. Peace gets lost amid the search for instant gratification or respite from the pressures of living.

It looks so welcoming to run away from current situations, to abdicate the wise choice in exchange for momentary pleasure. It feels like a good choice because it relieves the emotional pressure, at least temporarily. Divorce seems easier than dedication and commitment. Drugs or alcohol feel more enticing than accepting responsibility. A government check takes the place of hard work. Honor and integrity have been ‘lost’ in the chaos of pain and distress.

Choose Wisely

There was a time in my life when peace was nowhere to be found. My husband and I were in constant turmoil, fighting and bickering about almost everything. I hated my life but couldn’t figure out how to change it. We couldn’t survive on two paychecks, how could I do it on one?

Then one day after a particularly pitched battle, in tears, I told God, “I can’t do this anymore. If You don’t give me what I need, I just won’t have it, but I’m not fighting with him any longer. I refuse to depend on him for anything, Lord. I’m just going to depend on You.”

Now, it seems crazy that it took me so long to realize that the choice was mine all along. Fighting wasn’t changing anything. Neither were worry and stress. From that day forward, my life started to change.

I won’t tell you it was easy to let go of the resentment and bitterness. I will tell you that it was worth it. Don’t be held hostage by your emotions! They’re too unreliable.

You see, you can’t have a testimony without a test. And you can’t have a victory without a battle. But you CAN have the peace of God in the middle of both. Each and every day you make the choice.

  • seek peace and pursue it. ~ I Peter 3:11
  • let the peace of God rule in your hearts … and be thankful ~ Col. 3:115
  • … My own peace I now give and bequeath to you … let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid (Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed … – John 14:27b AMP
  • live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you ~ 2 Cor. 13:11b
  • follow after the things which make for peace … ~ Rom. 14:19
  • Be careful for nothing … let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passes understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~ Phil 4:6-7

Peace is not passive, it is active and effective. It does, however, require your participation. The Bible instructs you to let peace by your umpire (Col. 3:15 AMP). If your words and actions do not line up with peace, you must choose differently!

Don’t get sucked into the turmoil around you. You can press past the pain and presssure of your feelings to DO what you know is right. That is where you will find the peace you seek, by choosing the best, not what ‘feels’ good. Wise choices are the key to peace … just like when you were a kid!

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