Throughout the course of our lives, nothing is more significant than our never-ending search for peace.
With peace comes a certain freedom from the incidents and circumstances that make life difficult and we become truly able to simply enjoy living.
Yet before any one of us can begin to grasp the peace that we all continuously strive for, it is important first to understand what is specifically that we attempt to do when we try to obtain peace in our lives.
Fortunately, the task of obtaining peace can be broken down into two main objectives which are first to be at peace with ourselves and second to be at peace with others.
The peace that lasts always has a stable foundation.
Therefore, before anyone could have a hope of genuinely being at peace with others, they must first complete the challenge of being at peace with themselves and who they are.
This can be a difficult challenge to face as life can at times quite literally be described as one moment of anxiety after another.
Whether it worrying about fixed attributes about ourselves such as our height or skin color or uneasiness towards the more eventual aspects of ourselves such as how much money will make or what type of spouse we will have, life as a rational human being naturally comes with the cost of being comfortable in one’s own skin.
By naturally comparing ourselves to those around us and unknowingly setting up conditions for our contentedness in life such as making a set amount of money a year or being married by a certain age, we have become apart of a culture that favors the possessions we have rather than the people we are.
Being at peace with ourselves means to make a daily effort to break away from the mindset of taking what left untaken and instead being thankful for what’s already been given to us.
Rather than find our identity in things that come and go like money, possessions, or even certain relationships, we ought to instead strive to find identity in the pursuit of the moral perfection of Jesus Christ and in the love of God who sent him to us.
The peace that lasts always has a stable foundation, therefore by establishing ourselves in that which can not be moved and will live and endure forever, we begin to obtain the peace lasts.
15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
The peace that endures finds joy in the absence of conflict.
Throughout the course of our lives, it is almost inevitable that we will encounter certain individuals who we will never truly be at peace with.
Behind any good man or woman simply attempting to give the very best of themselves in everything that they do in their lives, there is always another man or woman who simply delights in tearing them down whenever they can.
When we are confronted by these types of people, we are often almost instinctively form the reasoning that because these individuals seem to almost delight in our suffering and hardship and despair in our victories and achievements, they must inevitably be our enemies.
In this state of mind, it’s common for us to delight in their anguish and scoff at their triumphs in the same fashion that they would do to us because, given the mutual agreement of one enemy to another, it’s just to want those that despise us to suffer since they after all simply wish the same to happen to us as well.
Such a relationship will always come at the cost of peace as it is impossible to feel any sort of harmony and tranquility in one’s mind when he is ever mindful that there will always be someone out there that wants to ruin his happiness.
The best way of combating this sort of development in our own lives is to make a consistent effort to find peace with the individuals who would deliberately attempt to take it away from us by both living exemplary lives or character and ingenuity and having the strength of will to refuse to seek justification to repeat the evil deeds that they have done to us.
In the act, of returning evil for evil, we fuel the fire of conflict by sacrificing our ability to love and forgive in exchange for the ability to hate and destroy.
Certainly, when we do wrong to those that do wrong to us, we only give them the reason to do wrong to us again in the future.
In this way, a cycle of hatred for hatred and evil for evil is formed in such a quality of life peace can never truly exist completely but can instead only exist sporadically as more of an illusion than anything concrete.
The peace that endures finds joy in the absence of conflict, therefore by being able to turn from the evil within us that loves to hate those that hate us, we can find freedom from the clutches of resentment and revenge and, in doing this, unlock the joys of a life lived through peace.
14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
Peace is found through establishing yourself on a firm foundation.
Peace is found through avoidance of unnecessary conflict.
Peace is achieved in a life lived through the guidance of wisdom and love, rather than the destruction of foolishness and hate.
Therefore, make an effort to live a life in pursuit of forgiveness rather than retaliation and of friendship rather than animosity and in your effort, you will find peace.
This is 30 Days of Growth: Day 17
Be at Peace.