Posts Tagged ‘peace’

Peace

March 9, 2016

Don’t quarrel with anyone.  Be at peace with everyone, just as much as possible.  Romans 12

How is it possible to get along in this world without a quarrel?  What causes quarrels anyway?  Either someone insists on things being done their way, which is a quarrel about doing, or the quarrel is about being right, which is a quarrel about believing.  Both come about because both parties are putting themselves before another.

Whenever possible, a loving, humble person lets the other fully state their position, giving them the respect of being heard.  It is helpful to reflect what you believe the other person is saying.  It is also helpful to reflect the feelings being expressed.  When you have done this, you have opened a door of respect to let yourself be heard.  When the disagreement is about doing, often a compromise can be worked out–often coming to a better solution together than if one person simply gave in.  When the disagreement is about belief, hearing another person first should open the door to letting the second person state their beliefs in turn.  If that isn’t about to happen, nothing is to be gained by quarreling.  The second person can simply say  “Lets agree to disagree”, or something like that.  People who cannot listen to another’s beliefs, cannot listen to reason.  If someone didn’t reason their way into their own position, they will never be reasoned out of it, or even be able to acknowledge your right to another point of view.

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What if We Believed Jesus? Part 2

January 17, 2016

“So my counsel is:  Don’t worry about things–food, drink, and clothes.  For you already have life and a body–and they are far more important than what to eat and wear.  Look at the birds!  They don’t worry about what to eat–they don’t need to sow or reap or store up food–for your heavenly Father feeds them.  And you are far more valuable to him than they are.  Will all your worries add a single moment to your life?”  Matthew 6: 25-27

If we really believed this, if we really trusted God to take care of our needs, how differently might we live?  The area where most people worry is  money and whether they will have enough to meet today’s bills and what might the future hold for them financially.  Obviously, money is another synonym for food, drink and clothes.  If we quit worrying, just do what we should and then go on and live, we might have more time, better health, and more fulfilling lives.  If we don’t constantly worry that we won’t have enough, we might be a whole lot more generous toward God’s work and the needs of others.  We might actually enjoy providing some pleasure for those who might not otherwise experience it, like taking some disadvantaged kids to a movie or kid’s museum or the like.  We might make more memories for our own family–spending money on travel to see them oftener, for instance.  We might quit hoarding, thinking there could be scarcity in our future.  Some people have developed hoarding into a fine art, but when you think about it–if we do have a national crisis with severe shortages, do we want to try to protect our stash with a gun?  Do we want to shoot starving people who want to steal from us?  Yet the doomsday hoarders have to ask themselves this question.

If we really trusted God to take care of us, would we spend all our time and money on vitamins, supplements, exercise programs, health scans, etc?  Or would we just do what God asks:  eat reasonably, exercise reasonably, and sleep reasonably?  All the worry about maybe getting cancer or cardiovascular disease, ignores the fact that most of us eat too much, exercise too little and have entirely too much stress in our lives.  Fat cells and stress are the toxic combination that cause all kinds of disease.  And some of the stress is because we worry entirely too much over money.

Another thing to believe Jesus about is that life is the most important gift–not things of any kind.  Jesus was the ultimate minimalist.  He traveled as an itinerant preacher, and likely had nothing but his coat–no home, no mode of transportation, no suitcase.  We would all have to go a very long way to be real minimalists.  Yet I have known people in ministry who go almost that far–don’t own homes or cars, use the library for reading and computer time, don’t have tv, maybe have a cell phone, but almost no material possessions except the bare necessities.   Without exception, these people are at least as happy as the ones who have every convenience and a lot of luxuries.

Seeking security in money requires chasing the promotions, climbing the career ladder, being competitive, and putting in more time than anyone else.  If we could work hard 8 hours a day, then leave the job at work, how much more time would we have for prayer, thought, relationships, exercise, and enjoyment of God’s creation?  How much less stress would we have?  How much more quality of life?  How much better health?

 

Peace as a Virtue

January 12, 2011

A lot of us don’t think of peace as a virtue, but rather as something we would like to attain for our own blessing.  However, peace, like joy is a way to worship God.  How is that possible?  Whenever I am worried or troubled about something its an uncomfortable situation, and I may try and try to solve the issue myself.  Or, I may take that trouble to God and ask Him to care for it and to care for me.  Many of us do that, but then we take it right back and continue to worry about it.  Letting God handle our worries requires Faith, and Faith pleases God.  Suppose our child brought us a broken toy to fix after they went to bed.  Suppose then, as we fixed the toy we well knew how to fix, that child got up every half hour to make sure we were doing what we promised?  That is what we do when we take our worries to God and then keep on worrying.  Instead, as an act of faith and worship in our God who can do all things and does all things well, we leave our worries with Him and go to sleep.  In the end, our own health and happiness are nourished tremendously.

The 45 Minute Solution

March 2, 2010

When confronting “the blues”, dullness, boredom and the like, I was once given a transforming recipe by a mature and wise pastor.  I call it the 45 Minute Solution.

First, spend 15 minutes a day reading the bible.  Ask the Lord to speak to you through the bible, and you can even ask Him what book of the bible to read.  Personally, I like the gospels, epistles and psalms, but I have never read a book of the bible where I didn’t find a little nugget of gold that met my exact needs at that moment.  Just be aware that God will speak to you if you ask Him and your soul is open and willing to hear Him.

Second, spend 15 minutes a day pouring out your heart to God.  Ask Him for everything you need, lay all your burdens before Him, and don’t forget to thank Him for all the ways you have seen Him help you.

Third, spend 15 minutes a day encouraging someone else’s faith, sharing the hope the Lord has given you.  You can do this through spoken or written words.  You can’t encourage someone else without the encouragement strengthening you, too.  As an old proverb says, the fragrance remains on the hand that gives a rose.

Try this for a couple of weeks.  I promise it will be life changing.