Today’s post is our post for the week. Sending prayers for a fruitful pursuit of inner peace.
We currently exist in a world where peace can easily be disturbed. If you have inner peace, do whatever you can to preserve it. If you don’t have it, pursue it relentlessly. Look to the spiritual guides and mentors in your life to help you find the best ways to pursue it. Different things will work for different people. Whatever the circumstances we’re in, inner peace is a constant pursuit rooted in prayer and repentance. There will always be external disturbances around us that we can’t control; things that are up in the air, crisis, transition, and the list goes on. The state of peace in our hearts will play a big role in determining how we process the external turbulence.
How you pursue your own peace and respond to external factors will either benefit or disturb yourself and others. We are called to be peacemakers, which requires both routine and response. Here are some things that can assist you in your pursuit of inner peace and peace with others.
1. Plan for prayer and silence in your day. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent (Exodus 14:14). Start your day and end your day by pursuing quietness in your mind and heart. Have a prayer routine and make time for silence. Being able to practice peace alone will equip you to practice peace with others.
2. Slow down and unclutter your world. Come to me all who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). The effects of taking a small step to slow down are huge. If you slow down while walking, doing chores, or talking you can often start to feel more calm and peaceful (compared to if you move/talk fast). Slowing down to decrease stress goes for many other things you do in everyday life like doing school work and eating. Cleaning up the environment around you goes along with moving slower. Just take 3 minutes a day to unclutter the spaces you spend time in. An uncluttered, simplified and ordered space around you brings clarity and order to the mind.
3. Deal with conflict as soon as it arises. The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out (Proverbs 17:14). What begins as a trickle of water can end with a flood. The beginning of strife is like the first trickle of water. Don’t let small resentments take root because if you do, they’ll grow. Your inner peace will be shaken and it will likely lead
4. Practice restraint, especially with your tongue. Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger (James 1:19). Self-expression is one of the prevalent vehicles for conflict, certainly fueled by the ideas that you can be free to say what you want, regardless of consequences. Peacemakers, however, practice restraint. When a relationship is under strain, you may be tempted to unload, but if you’re a peacemaker, you’ll hold back. Recognizing a problem and having the courage to face it doesn’t give you permission to explode with your frustrations, disappointments, and complaints. Practice restraint, especially in relation to your tongue. Even in honest confrontation you don’t need to unload everything, and if you’re pursuing peace, you won’t.
5. Take a step towards peace. If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. (Romans 12:20).
Even your enemy has needs, and Paul described a situation in which your enemy needs food. He or she is hungry, that gives you the opportunity to show an act of kindness. The principle here is a very simple one: when peace seems a long way off, ask God to show you one small step you can take in the right direction.
6. Think beyond yourself. Go to those in need. Whoever brings blessings will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered (Proverbs 11:25). We are called to serve and love those in need…not just so they are taking care of, but also so that we fulfill our calling to love as Christ loves. Serving serves both those receiving and giving. It reminds you who you are and what life is for. Reach out and find ways to serve your community. It’ll bring you comfort and peace in ways you can’t imagine.
7. Prepare for a long journey. Seek peace and pursue it. (1 Peter 3:11). If you’re serious about peacemaking, you may need to prepare for a long journey. If the problem is recognized early, peace may be restored quickly. But if you’re called to be a peacemaker when wounds are deep, you should be prepared for the long haul. When Peter used the word seek, he was saying sometimes peace won’t be easy to find. When he calls us to pursue it, he reminds us that peace may sometimes be far in the distance and that to find it, you’ll need to stay on the journey. Peacemaking is a process, not an event. When pursuing peace, remember that the story of God’s reconciliation with humanity began when time started. God has been relentless in pursuing peace with us. Peacemakers reflect His persistence.
Jesus is truly our peace. He comforts us in times of trouble and enables us to be peacemakers in the world.