Kari

How to Pursue Peace

by Kari Scare



                               

In the post “Pursuing Peace” we talked about how the peace of God within us requires that we take action. We also discussed that true peace from God is not just a state of mind or a demeanor, but it is also an example we live out that will draw others to Him. So, that being the case…

How can we pursue peace? What actions can we take in our everyday lives in pursuit of peace?

Peace 1

1. Do your part. This means not getting even, controlling anger and not reacting. It also means choosing relationship over being right.

Peace 2

2. Keep short accounts. Clear up offenses right away. Get at the small things before they pile up and create something huge.

Peace 3

3. Work hard. Pursuing peace is hard work because living at peace is not every person’s goal. Some people, each one of us at times if we’re honest, often choose being right over pursuing peace in relationship

Peace 4

4. Focus on God’s peace, not the world’s peace. The world’s peace relies on people, money & things, but God’s peace relies on Jesus. Realizing this, is the world’s peace even possible?

Peace 5

5. Be salty. Salt preserves, and so does peace. Likewise, we preserve the Gospel truth and what Jesus came to do as we pursue peace.

Peace 6

6. Be a counselor of peace. Counselors plan, organize & keep order, tasks required of each one of us when we choose to make pursuing peace a priority.

Peace 7

7. Maintain a peaceful spirit. Whether you’re right or wrong in a situation, a peaceful spirit prevents more offense and keeps a situation from worsening.

Peace 8

8. Seek wisdom from God. Obtaining peace only happens when we focus on living by His Word. We must get God’s perspective and not rely on our own thinking, often fueled by our emotions, to determine our attitude, actions and words.

DISCUSSION: What can you do today to pursue peace?



                               

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Pursuing Peace

2 Timothy

The word “peace” in the Bible refers to a mental attitude of tranquility based on a relationship with God; it basically describes a person’s correct response to God’s grace.

When you see the word “peace” in Scripture, it’s referring to one of two types of this peace from God.

  1. Personal peace that comes when a person accepts Jesus Christ as Savior.
  2. The peace of God that is available on a daily basis as we participate in the Christian way of life according to God’s plan

With this in mind, consider that true peace is…

  1. A gift we RECEIVE (Romans 5:1-2 & John 14:27).
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God’s Masterpiece

God's Masterpiece logo for blog

What is a Masterpiece?

If you had to name some masterpieces, what would they be? Perhaps you’d name a classic novel like Lord of the Rings by Tolkein or Moby Dick by Melville. Maybe you’d cite a great sculpture like The Pieta by Michelangelo or a painting such as the Mona Lisa by da Vinci. Or perhaps you’d focus on a great piece of music by Beethoven or Bach.

Now think about why you picked what you did. In other words, what do you think makes a masterpiece a masterpiece? The Bing Dictionary says a masterpiece is a “great artistic work,” an “artist’s best work,” and that it earns recognition.

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Let Frustration Guide You

Consumed by Frustration

Ever felt consumed by frustration? Like all your attempts at progress meet only baffling failure? If not failure outright, perhaps you  just feel stuck with your wheels spinning.

  • 579286_51266544No matter what you try, you can’t lose weight and never have enough energy.
  • With all the cleaning you do, your house remains constantly cluttered and unorganized.
  • All your kind words and gestures along with any attempts to truly show interest fail to result in real connection.
  • Simplicity of any kind remains illusive, and life just seems constantly filled with drama and complication.

Frustrating. Baffling. Unsettling.

My first instinct? Do something about it.

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Lessons from Experience

5MFFThink back over the lessons experience taught you in your life. If it helps, do this by sectioning off your life: work, formal education, church, relationships, health, etc. Probably, listing 10 life lessons pulled from these areas would not be difficult. For the sake of time and space, let me list 3…

  1. Small changes over time add up to make a huge difference.
  2. Focus determines reality.
  3. You can be right, or you can have relationship.

Has experience taught you these lessons too? While the experience itself exists as uniquely yours, the process followed does not. In all life’s experiences, the process of growth essentially stays the same:

  1. Do
  2. Learn
  3. Grow
  4. Try again

As Christians, we see God at work in all of these experiences.

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Deep Reflection

1368433_68468380We easily notice our reflections when we see them, don’t we? Mirrors. Windows. Water. For some reason, We automatically take notice when we see our own reflections. But how often do we consider the depth of what our reflections mean?

We see a physical body when we look at our reflections, but let’s go beyond that. They say “the eyes are the window to the soul,” but have you ever tried to look through your own window?

Genesis 1:26 gets at this depth too.

“Then God said, ‘Let Us make make in Our image, according to Our likeness…”

1399686_21236547While “image” and “likeness” mean basically the same in the Hebrew, Medieval theologians believed “image” referred to “natural reason” and “likeness” to “original righteousness given before the fall.” In essence, the idea of having the “likeness” and “image” of God gives mankind the ability to think & reason, a quality no other creature possesses.

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Knit Together

Those more crafty than me (which doesn’t take much) say knitting is easy. They say it involves two basic stitches, and the stitches can be used in many and various ways depending on the end product desired. This means there is a lot of uniqueness and variety that can come from just those two basic stitches.

5mff1

Without carrying the analogy too far but at least admitting the somewhat obvious connection, creating a person is also easy. Like knitting, it involves two basic “stitches” so to speak, and these elements develop into unique individuals of great variety.

This act of creation speaks just to our physical selves, and we’re so much more than the physical.

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Refuge

As a Highly Sensitive Person and an introvert, I relish the sanctuary of my home. This physical refuge allows me the time and space needed to recharge and keep from becoming overwhelmed.

But because we’re also meant to live in fellowship with one another (Hebrews 10:24-25), I also seek the safety of some close relationships from my spouse and kids to a few friends. Those relationships provide a protection for my spirit as we live life together, struggling to victory this side of Heaven.

As much as I trust these places and people of sanctuary and refuge in my life, Psalm 62:8 tells me God is my sanctuary.

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