There’s a shortage of peace in the world. Terrorist invade and ravage our world like cancer cells invading and ravaging a body. Countries are on edge over territorial, trade, and nuclear issues. Racial tensions tear apart our communities and country. Political parties bicker and battle over every little issue. Husbands and wives divorce and fight battles over children and property. There’s a shortage of peace in the world.
That’s not to say we’re not looking for peace. We are. Whether it’s countries, companies, or couples, we’re all looking for peace.
And there are four places where we tend to look for peace…
- Might. We think if we can just be the biggest and strongest, then we can force peace. But that rarely works, because might can alienate the weak and be misused by the strong.
- Majority. We think if we can gain a majority, then peace can be established through majority rule. But that rarely works, because it tends to aggravate the minority and cause them to fight all the more. Congress is a prime example of this.
- Money. We think if we just pour enough money into something we can fix it and make it work. But that rarely works, because money is not evenly distributed and tends to be used more to benefit the money holder.
- Management. We think if we can bring people together to strategize, plan, and negotiate we’ll be able to find a way to make everyone happy and thus produce peace. But that rarely works, because though management can help to mute conflict, people still have their own agendas that are often at odds with one another.
Countries, companies, and couples all look for peace. The problem is, peace is not a commodity to be found. It’s a characteristic to be developed. The Hebrew word for peace refers to a sense of completeness, soundness, and welfare. Peace is holistic. It’s universal. It’s a settled contentment that radiates from within to create an atmosphere of peace in our environment and our relationships. This is why things like might, majority, money, and management can’t bring about peace. These things all focus on external change, but peace is an internal radiance.
So if you’re looking for peace, you’re looking for more than the absence of conflict. You’re looking for the presence of a calm, confident, completeness that will rule in your heart and mind, even when the world around you is not peaceful.
In the Hebrew Scriptures, you will find these words…“And this righteousness will bring peace. Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever.” (Isaiah 32:17 NLT) Here, the word righteousness means to be rightly aligned and operating with God.
Now you may not subscribe to the concept of God, but stay with me for a minute. I know that there are people out there who are using God and their so-called “righteousness” as a rational to be unloving, hurtful, and even fatal. This is not what I’m talking about. These rationales are the very things that cause people to turn their back on everyone but themselves.
Still, no matter how independent you believe yourself to be, all of us will align with something or someone. It may be a principle, or a parent, or a position, but we all get our ideas and alignments from somewhere or something. You’re free to choose your alignments, but if you’re still looking for peace…real peace that remains even when things change…then I would ask you to consider the option of aligning yourself with the one who is called the Prince of Peace. (See below for more claims about peace.)
Looking for peace begins by looking internally, because if you and I don’t have peace internally we will never find it externally.
Let’s take the idea of peace to a whole new level…
We are called to pursue peace. If you’re looking for peace in your relationships, in your marriage, in your work, in your community, or in your world, consider what Scripture has to say about peace…
- For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. – Ephesians. 2:14 (NLT)
- and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross. – Colossians. 1:20 (NLT)
- And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. – Colossians. 3:15 (NLT)
- Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ—the Son of the Father—will continue to be with us who live in truth and love. – 2 John 1:3 (NLT)
What do you think about peace and the idea that righteousness brings peace?
Copyright © 2015 Bret Legg