07 Dec Practicing Peace
Everyone wants peace in their lives. Even people who create constant drama want to live in peace. The struggle is that very few people want to do the work involved to have peace. Peace is work. That sounds like a conflict but it is true. Peace in relationships requires us to work on those relationships. The Apostle Paul gave some instructions concerning peace that may help us as we seek to live a life of peace.
4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:4–9 NLT)
Be Full of Joy
Peace starts from within and it starts from the perspective of joy. Some translations say rejoice always. The only way to rejoice always is to be intentional about our perspective.
Be Considerate of Others
How we treat others has a distinct impact on the peace that we experience in our lives. Relationships have a tremendous affect on peace. If we are constantly in conflict with other people we will struggle to find peace in our lives. In everything we do, we should consider others.
Don’t worry, but pray
Instead of fretting over every issue, learn to pray about everything. Though most followers of Christ will tell you that they believe in prayer and it’s power, they would also acknowledge that it is rarely their first resort, but most often the last. Shift your priorities and pray first. Leave the worry alone.
Change Your Thinking
Your attitude is directly related to the things that you think about it. If your thinking is focused on trouble and problems, you will see trouble and problems. If you think on positive or good things, your attitude will reflect that. Paul is clear here that one of these characteristics is not enough. What we think about should fit all of these characteristics. The things we think about should be true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Not just one, but all. He says to think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Practice What You Have Learned
The greatest gap in the world is between knowing and doing. Rarely is our problem not knowing what to do. Our struggle is to do what we know. Paul’s last instruction is to put into practice what you have learned. It is not enough to know how to think or what to do, we must then do the things we know.
As you practice these, your life will be changed. There is peace that comes as we put into place the things that bring about peace. If you are looking for greater peace in your life, examine these areas and work on any necessary changes. God desires for you to have peace of mind and heart. Peace is not just something for heaven. Peace is something that we can experience here.