Pursue Peace

Pursue Peace by Sandy Anderson

It is easy to get caught up with all the negative news and spew negativity. The information below will help guard our mouth, heart, and mind. Douglas Raine

The world is full of turmoil. Unless we choose to live in peace, the enemy can easily steal our joy. The commercialization of Christmas can be emotionally charged season. Let us stay on guard and don’t let offense get in to cause strife and division.

The other night I was watching a movie with my kids. We were enjoying our time together. One of my children made a certain comment and out of nowhere I jumped on her. I don’t know where it came from except that I wasn’t on guard. Of course, I apologized and we made up quickly but it served as a reminder to stay calm, cool, and collected during this memory-making family season.

When we’re stressed, emotions fly out of control. We “spray” people when we’re unable to detect anger rising within us. This is dangerous to us and those around us. This is why we must guard our hearts against peace-stealers. 

If we’re not at peace, our hearts are not at rest. When you watch or read the news, it can be very disheartening. While we need to be informed, we’ve to be careful what we meditate on. Bad news sells and thus media is filled with negative press, gossip, and personal attacks against each other. If we want to live in peace, we need to take in the crux of the news and then turn it off. Don’t let media dictate your world but the Word of God.

At the end of the year, work can be stressful. Business owners, managers, and supervisors are under tremendous pressure to finish the year in black. In the middle of office parties and good times, they’re still trying to keep their neck above the water. Be sensitive and don’t be easily offended at their unusual demands and mood swings. Just do your best to be the salt and light in the marketplace. You’re the only Jesus some of them will ever meet.

When you’re in peace, you’re in a position of power. The world around us is changing constantly. People’s behavior is unpredictable. It’s easier to have self-control than to control everybody else. You cannot stop what people say and do but you can decide how you respond.

In John 16:33, Jesus said, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Don’t focus on the troubles, focus on the Solution!

Forgive before the offense ever happens. This is especially important with people you love. Husbands and wives cut each other some slack. The bulk of the holiday preparation mostly falls upon the women. Ladies, don’t suffer in silence. Delegate and include others in your effort to make a “perfect” holiday. Let me tell you a secret: nothing is perfect when people are involved. Have a relaxed, easy-going attitude. Choose peace over perfection! Husbands, your wives need your big muscles and shoulders for support. A good question to ask is, “Honey, what can I do to help?” Then just follow orders from the drill sergeant!

1 Peter 3:11 says, “Seek peace and pursue it.” That tells me peace is not automatic. You have to go after it. Guard your heart from unexpected assaults. Choose to forgive whether people ask for it or not. It will make you a better person. Overlook a few faults – especially those you love. Be alert and quick to offer help. Walk in their shoes before you judge and throw insults in retail stores, shopping lines, in traffic or at home.

A boat is perfectly safe surrounded by high waters as long as water doesn’t get in the boat. In the same way, you may be surrounded by stressful, selfish, and even mean people. Rise above them. Don’t let their bad attitude affect your good manners. You can’t live and respond the way they do because they’re not going where you are going. Slow down, cut the noise, reflect, and have some quiet moments of gratitude. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. As we prepare and celebrate the birthday of our King, let us make sure we have the Prince of Peace occupying the center of our hearts. Let the Holy Spirit be your peaceostat! I speak peace and prosperity of your soul as you prepare for the holidays. We love you and we’re praying for peace in your world!