Partly because of my inability to keep them, which stole my peace, I gave up making New Year’s Resolutions years ago. Scripture tells us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13), not by gritting our teeth harder. We do need to choose to read the Bible daily, seek God’s will and then obey it. Since the wisdom and strength to successfully obey comes from our Master, all the praise for our success goes to Jesus.
In 2017 God spoke a word to my heart. It was really simple, only one line long. It was, “Do those things that make for peace.” As a result, I’ve been seeking wisdom from God about those practices that make for peace. Then praying for the wisdom, strength and whatever else to victoriously apply them. Here are a few of them.
Being honest about my feelings definitely makes for peace. Stoic, tough German they I am, it’s natural for me to stuff my feelings, which can later erupt in upset words or the sense of other people being insensitive. It’s important to remember that no one can read our minds. If we don’t kindly share our thoughts, positive and negative, we can never properly resolve conflict.
Also, praying for the right time and God’s words to flow from us when sharing our heart with another person is a definite peace maker. It is also important to pray that God would prepare the other person to receive what you have to share. Respectfully listening and being open to learning from the person you’re talking to brings God’s peace. Try not to share when angry. Forgive the upsetting person and ask God for his feelings toward them.
Not overextending ourselves, but seeking God’s will about the activities we engage in is a huge peace producer. This means saying no to even good activities as Jesus leads you to do so. Knowing and using your God given gifts applies here. While we serve others however God directs, using our gifts for him is truly satisfying.
Praise for who God is builds trust, which brings peace. The list of all the Father and Son desire to be for us is long. Our Father, our Savior, Good Shepherd, fortress, strong tower, light, healer, and deliverer are but a few of them. An awesome Scripture study would be to read through the Bible and highlight all the words or phrases telling all they desire to be in our lives. Knowing who God is brings peace like nothing else can.
Praise and thanksgiving aren’t the same. You praise God for he is. You thank him for all his provision. Your spouse, family, food, clothing, home are some examples. You should also graciously express your gratitude to God and other people for any kindness they show you. Because of my walker, gracious people often hold the bathroom door. I make it a point to say thank you. Often a simple thank you is enough. When you have the chance, do a kind deed in return.
Listening to and singing anointed worship music brings peace. So does engaging in enjoyable hobbies. For me they are reading and writing.
So does enjoying God’s creation. A breath taking sunrise or sunset, the ocean’s, wood’s or mountain’s sights, sounds or smells are peace producing. A walk, even around the neighborhood is so refreshing. So is an early bedtime and a good night’s sleep. Then waking early and enjoying the sunrise as you converse with God and read Scripture. A delicious meal is so satisfying and leaves a peaceful feeling. Likewise, a refreshing shower calms you.
Having a place for everything and keeping like items together prevents having to hunt for them when you need to use them.. Also picking up after yourself reduces clutter and brings peace.
When shopping, if you’re not sure about a purchase you are considering wait. Seek God’s wisdom about buying it. This will prevent rash spending and buyer’s remorse.
Time spent talking with a friend is so peace producing. Fun activates we do together make a peaceful, cherished memory. So does honestly sharing our hearts with Our Savior and listening as he shares his.
These peacemakers while simple require commitment. There are undoubtedly other peace producers that I could have included, but didn’t think of. Add your own. Some of yours will be different from mine. Next time, my word for this year.