Peace is certainly the absence of contention. I believe we all will agree that peace is not a feeling. Peace is a state of being. Being at peace does not mean that nothing bad is happening or has happened or will happen in our lives but when we are at peace, these circumstances when they happen, will not be able to unravel us or it will not take away our joy and most importantly it will not separate us from God. So, as Julia Ludlum (2020), puts it, whether you’re facing a big life decision, a tough conversation with a good friend, or test results from a recent doctor’s visit, a peaceful mindset can help you find the strength and comfort you need to combat any and all uncertainty and restlessness.
So, I want to briefly share with you 5 ways to be at a peaceful state in our lives and how to maintain it.
- As we go through this life, let us keep an open mind – I was having a conversation with a friend about 2 weeks ago and they were sharing some disappointments they were experiencing dealing with some persons they had done some work for and this was one of the points that were brought out. Not be make excuses for people’s behaviour but, we must always remember just as we are human beings prone to failures, so are the other people we interact with e.g Family, friends, co-workers, church members etc. So while we should have high expectations of others, and we are not necessarily wrong for expecting people to behave in certain ways, when we keep an open mind, this will help us to remember that only God is perfect so we are not as disappointed or shocked or become disoriented when things to not happen the way we hoped.
- Give people the benefit of the doubt – it’s not easy because it is human nature when we have high expectations of others and we feel let down, to only think of how the situation affect us more than to think of what the other person might have been experiencing why he or she behaved in the manner that they did or why certain things in our lives happen the way they did. As Eleanor Roosevelt puts it, “It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.” — So, we must be deliberate about being willing to give others the benefit of the doubt.
- Be willing to forgive both ourselves and others– it’s not possible to be at peace within yourself and environment and to not have a forgiving spirit no matter how much we say it with our lips. Proverbs 12:20 “Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan peace have joy.” So let us remember that there will not be peace within us or within the environment we are a part of if there isn’t the presence of a forgiving spirit.
- Have a positive disposition – So again this may take effort sometimes when it comes to having a positive outlook on life and in our dealings with each other but God is able. In Isaiah 52:7 “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’ ”
- And most importantly, Have and maintain a personal relationship with God. – This will take care of all the rest because sometimes, we cannot experience peace because we are trying to resolve issues on our own. But in John 16:33, Christ says to us, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” So, when we have a relationship with Christ, we can turn over to Him all of our hurts, our anxieties and anything else that disturbs our peace knowing that God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we can every ask or think.
So according the Cambridge Dictionary, peace is the state of not being interrupted or annoyed by worry, problems, noise, or unwanted actions.
Former US president Ronald Reagan put it this way, “Peace is not the absence of conflict, but it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.” And so finally, I admonish us to heed the words of Wayne Dyer, that “Peace can become a lens through which we see the world. So, let us be it. Let us live it. Let us radiate it out because peace is an inside job.
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