Lysa TerKeurst, a well-known Christian author and speaker, posted the following on Facebook:
“Will this choice I’m about to make add to my peace or steal it away? ‘Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts’… (Colossians 3:15)”
That question was a startling wake-up call for me one morning recently. How often have I allowed my peace to be stolen by choices that I have made? Shamefully, I confess that it has been all too often. But why? Why do we intentionally steal our own peace? Yes, I used the word ‘intentional’. If you look at the question Mrs. TerKeurst posed, it is a choice that we are making and that means an intentional action.
As I take a few moments to really reflect on where I am currently in my life, I realized that some of the choices I have made over the past few years definitely stole peace from my life. Whether it be a shopping spree or verbal argument, I have made choices that left me feeling uneasy and chaotic in the pit of my stomach. Not a good feeling to have. If you are like me at all then you find yourself replaying conversations or situations that you have had which didn’t go so well. You might think of new things to say or different actions. Whatever it is, the peace that could be there is gone, replaced with chaos that occupies entirely too much of your time. I was talking to my husband the other day, telling him about my frustrations with some former co-workers that I had run into. I was going over the litany of reasons why I was irritated. His response was, “stop giving them so much space in your head.” Well, at the time, my irritation switched from them to my husband. But the fact was, he was absolutely right. I was making a choice to dwell on them, which stole my peace.
Too often we forget that we really can only control two things in this life – our actions and our reactions. That’s it! I hate the idea that there are people who don’t like me or choices I have made but it is what it is. I can’t control them. But I can control how I respond and act toward others. I can also control if I have peace in my life or not through my choices.
How many times have I been like Job and said the same things as he does in Job 3:26? “I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.” I don’t want to be like that anymore? I have chosen so many times to allow my situations and circumstances to define my moods. No more. Instead, I choose to rely on Jesus and his promise.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. —Romans 5:1
I chose to open my heart to God and accept the love of Jesus Christ. So why would I ever make a choice that invites turmoil in my life? And yet, we do it all of the time! My challenge to you is to make an intentional choice daily to invite peace into your life. And if chaos and turmoil creep in, seek God’s guidance in returning you to that place of peace once again.
Heavenly Father, I am so thankful for you and the promise of peace you have given me through your Son. Help me to always make choices of peace rather then offer invitations to chaos. Amen