Peace is something we all want. Whomever you are and wherever you come from – peace is a shared innate desire.
In this world of strife and disappoinment, how do we have peace? Is is a notion only? As Christians aren’t we supposed to have peace? Is it automatic? How do we achieve this peace we so despearetly seek?
From various conversations, devotionals, sermons, etc., I am processing this word peace and how to actually rest in peace. I have written notes, searched books, read Scripture and here is what I have learned:
As Christians, we should demonstrate the Fruits of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22 “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
It seems the one fruit listed last, we need first. Self-control. With self-control love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness are easier to attain. Without self-control, we lose our tempers, become depressed, lean on alcohol, drugs, people, food, money, computers, games…anything and everything as we seek peace. We get out of control and yet still seek peace, and that is when we seek peace in the things that are destructive to us. So how do we have self-control?
We resist rest. The difference in REST and RESIST is simple I. (Terkeurst, Made to Crave) Remove I…remove ourselves from the equation, and we go from resisting peace to resting in it. Stop trying to control peace. Stop trying to seek peace in things of this world. Take our own agenda out of the picture and we go from resisting God’s peace to resting in it.
How do we remove the I? How do we remove our emotion, our desire to react and act?
B- Breathe (Take some deep breaths. Cortisol actually releases when we are angry or upset. Take some time to breathe deeply to give time for that cortisol to lower. Give time for you to truly and physically be able to step back. Time to calm. Time to allow the Holy Spirit to speak. Time to access the situation. Time to listen.)
A – Ask God for help. As you breathe, say Jesus. Say help me. Ask for help. Ask for wisdom. Ask for strength. Ask for peace.
C – Comfort. As you breathe and ask for help, also ask for comfort. If your lack of control is “fixed” with chemicals, alcohol, money, bad relationship…it is probably because you seek comfort. Life hurts. It is normal to want comfort. Rather than reach for comfort from things that cause us to lose peace, or offer temporary peace, ask for Comfort from God.
K – Kindness. Find a way to be kind to the person you are in confrontation with. Tell them you are listening and want to know how they feel. Or if you are stepping back from food, be kind to yourself and eat something healthy. If it is a chemical you seek, be kind to yourself and reward yourself in some other way because you didn’t take the drug or drink the alcohol. Offer kindness to yourself and others.
Once we remove the I from Resist, and take our control out of the situation.
Step BACK, to take time to breathe, ask for help, seek comfort that is healthy, and offer kindness to self and others….we are on the road to those other fruits…love, joy, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and peace.
Peace is Shalom in Hebrew. In English meaning it is the absence of outward conflict or state of inner calm. Shalom goes beyond this to wholeness, completeness, safety, wellness. Living in Harmony with God. Shalom in its deepest meaning expresses hope to self and others to be fulfilled, satisfied, prosperous, healthy and in harmony. Shalom is a convenant word. God’s relationship with people. (Spangler, Praying the Names of God).
Peace my friends. Shalom.