How peaceful is your life?
One of the greatest things we can experience is peace. It’s a precious and priceless gift. Nothing is worse than a lack of peace inside our soul or in some important relationship in our life.
The writer of Proverbs so valued personal and relational peace that he made the following statements:
“A heart at peace gives life to the body … ” — Proverbs 14:30 (NIV)
“Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.” — Proverbs 17:1 (NIV)
Our lack of personal peace is a common and major cause of stress, strife and strain in our relationships. When we are consumed with hurt, anger, anxiety, worry and fear, there’s no doubt that these poisons will spill over into our interactions with others.
Discovering the keys to peace in our own hearts helps us in every other aspect of life. Peaceful people have better marriages, are more productive in their work, and enjoy more meaning friendships. Peaceful people are more attractive and effective, at all levels, than disturbed, frustrated, agitated and irritated people.
How do we experience personal peace? Here are some simple suggestions:
P = Pray. Take everything that disturbs you to God in prayer, and leave it with Him.
E = Adjust your expectations of life and others. Many of the irritations and frustrations we experience are created by unrealistic expectations of the world and people around us. Adjust your expectations.
A = Stop accumulating offenses. All of us have lots of opportunities to be offended by people. We cannot control what someone else does to us, but we can control how we choose to respond. Make a decision that your soul will not become an emotional dumpster, collecting hurt, anger or other negative emotions. Keep a clean heart. Be quick to forgive. Refuse to hold on to anything that will steal your peace.
C = Commit yourself and your circumstances to God. Trust God with your life. Believe that He always has your best interest in mind. Live for Him, and trust that He is in control. Demonstrate your trust by obeying His Word.
E = Eliminate griping, grumbling and complaining. Express gratitude instead. Much of our peace is lost through our lips — by the words we speak. A constant flow of negativity from our mouths not only reflects the condition of our hearts, it sets us up for ongoing negative feelings in our hearts. Turn your life toward peace by expressing gratitude. Become a praiser!
Go after peace. It will change everything in your life!