“Peace be with you” is something I say at church on Sunday mornings when the pastor asks us to greet one another. I must admit, saying these words always seems so odd to me, probably because I laugh in doubt at the thought of peace or that I’m not really sure what true peace looks or feels like.
The Peace I experience happens every morning from about 4:45-6:30, after that the day erupts with work, kids getting ready for school, breakfast, lost shoes and deadlines. Sadly within my peaceful moments in the mornings, I’m looking at the clock hoping for just a little longer. Doesn’t seem very peaceful when I’m wishing for something more in the moment does it?
Peace is more than the quiet moments and more than a lack of conflict or trouble. True Peace is like something we wear and it radiates from the inside impacting all the choices we make and the chaos we feel. We can use our attitude of peace to enjoy the quiet moments and to have hope in the troubled moments – it’s a matter of how we seek our peace.
Peace – while engaged in conflict?
That’s a very loaded question, most of us would define peace as an absence of trouble, conflict or chaos. We think that when there is conflict there is no peace, but when we really start digging into the biblical view of Peace, it’s required in all relationships, especially, in troubles and conflict.
Lucky enough for us, we have an active training ground called earth and other people to help us demonstrate and practice peace. Our fleshly emotions are tested constantly and if let run free lead us to fight for our own points, make sure we are heard and win whatever argument is at hand. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says we are to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.
When we feel the pull from our emotions to be reactive in situations, we need to take our thoughts captive and change the way we approach the conflict. Peace in conflict is a focus toward finding a common ground a reconciliation and taking self out of the equation completely.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that every single problem will be solved, sometimes people just don’t agree or unwilling to finding a common ground, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do the right thing. When a disagreement arises ask questions and dig deeper into the other person’s thoughts, listen to understand their side so that you can empathize with them instead of cast judgement. (read the book Crucial Conversations). Once we understand their thoughts on a topic it’s easy to remove the feeling of negative conflict and you can work to find a common ground or peacefully agree to disagree. So how do we get the inner peace strong enough to be in conflict peacefully – we need to seek it properly.
Two Kinds of Peace
The New testament speaks of the objective pace that has to do with our relationship with God, and the subjective peace that has to do with our experience in life. We must come into objective peace (outside ourselves, factual) with God before we can experience the subjective peace (inside ourselves) of God.
A person can only have peace with God when they come to faith in Christ Romans 5:1 “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have pace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…”. It’s because of Jesus our sins are forgiven and we are no longer under the wrath of God.
The subjective pace is our complete trust in God’s plan and timing. It is strengthened through our faith and that is why the objective belief and trust in God has to come first. Paul says in Philippians 4:6-7“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension will guard your hearts and mind with Christ Jesus”
Seeking peace subjectively is what we tend to do constantly, putting the pressure on ourselves to get better at having a peaceful mind, but without seeking God first, we will never have the real peace we all long for. You want more peace, get more Jesus!
Well, Speaking of 6:30, I have to go, the beautiful chaos of my day is about to start – Peace be with you!