Choose Peace for Your Life

If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else. ~ Marvin Gaye

 Peace: it’s a word that’s been used and abused so much that its true meaning is muddled. In its purest form, peace is more powerful than dissent, anger, unforgiveness or hatred. It’s faster at restoring harmony than any other human emotion, action or effort.  It is able to stop stress and conflict in a single moment.

Peace maintains a calm centeredness. It provides security in the midst of turmoil, quiet joy in stressful moments and calmness in chaotic situations. It helps you stay focused on what matters most.

Peace is an umpire for your life. It tells you when your thoughts, words and actions are “out” of control. It declares you “safe” when you are making right choices. Peace stands at home base (your heart) and tells you whether you are winning or losing.

Peace is also a powerful spiritual tool. When Jesus spoke to the storm, the first word He declared was, “Peace, be still.” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm (Mark 4:39). Later, he told the woman who had been ill with an issue of blood for more than twelve years, “Go in peace, and be whole” (Mark 5:34). When He faced the High Priest to defend Himself prior to His crucifixion, the Bible says, He held his peace, and answered nothing (Mark 14:61).

If you’ve ever been in a situation where you wanted so badly to argue or defend yourself and instead, you shut your mouth and ‘held your peace’, you have some small inkling of how difficult it was for Jesus the Man to remain silent when He could have called upon legions of angels to deliver Him. Sometimes the price of peace can be extremely high, but the results will be worth it.

God’s peace is internal, a part of your spirit that is intimately connected to Divine Spirit. It is a fruit of the spirit, like love, joy and self-control. It is a gift divinely granted by Jesus Himself. My peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you … To accomplish all those superhuman feats, however, peace requires your cooperation and acceptance. It is a spiritual control switch. And you are the operator.

So, how do you find this place of peace?

First, recognize when you are NOT at peace.

And when [Joseph’s] brethren say that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him (Gen. 37:4). Your mind and body have myriad signals that tell you when you are out of control. Stress, anger, jealousy, frustration, worry. Headaches, elevated breathing, muscle tension, stomach ache. All are symptoms, not causes. They are signals that peace is missing.

Next, STOP. Whatever it is that’s stealing your peace, stop it.

The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace (Ex. 14:14). Take a moment to mentally examine where you are, how you feel … and why. Ask yourself the all-important question: “Is this situation worth losing my peace?”

Are you in an argument with your spouse? Will the results – or lack thereof – be worth the turmoil and stress to both of you?

Are your children pushing your ‘hot button’? Will having your own tantrum solve theirs?

Is your job making you ‘nuts’? Is it truly the position – or your attitude? Is it worth the stress you feel when you keep yourself so stirred up?

Is someone else’s emotional or physical challenge making you ‘sick’? Can you afford to let yourself be pulled into their pain? Can you help them if you make yourself sick over their situation?

Recognize that YOU are the one perpetuating your own emotional turmoil. You have forgotten to let peace be your umpire. You have forgotten your covenant with Almighty God who declares that He will fight for you. Instead, acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee (Job 13:13).

Third, TALK … to yourself, to the problem and to God.

Let not your heart be troubled …. Tell yourself – aloud if possible – “I will not go there. I will not allow this situation to have control over my thoughts and emotions. I choose peace.” If you are in turmoil with someone else, tell them you are choosing not to continue the conflict. Explain that you want peace more than victory. If necessary, apologize for losing your temper (peace).

If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men (Rom. 12:18) An apology for your bad behavior does not have to include agreeing with their point of view. You are merely accepting responsibility for your own actions and attitudes. Doing so puts you in a position of strength, not weakness. It also restores and protects your peace.

While you’re talking, talk to God. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in Thee (Is. 26:3). Prayer brings God into your situation, and allows you to relax, trusting Him for the outcome.

Fourth, connect with joy.

For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace (Is. 55:12). Touch. Hug someone – yes, even the person you’ve been in conflict with. Human touch is restorative, healing.

Laugh. You can choose to laugh on purpose. Give a little chuckle. Smile. After all, God is probably chuckling at our very human foibles and follies. Putting a smile on your face is an instant attitude adjuster. Do it – even if you don’t feel like it. Laughter is contagious. Spread it around!

Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you His peace at all times and in every situation (2 Thess. 3:16). The Bible tells us to “seek peace and pursue it” (Prov. 34:14). If you’ll do that, if you’ll make the decision to let peace be your umpire, you will maintain the peace and joy that God intended you to have. Then you’ll have true success and victory in every situation.

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