Finding the Peace
"Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord." - Hebrews 12:14 (NLT)
This is one of those scriptures that I remind myself of probably daily. The truth is there are a lot of unpeaceful (yep I'm making a word), people and at any given moment, my thoughts toward them or things I might want to say will be far from holy. For whatever reason, we have developed, been taught, or come to believe these crippling motions about what it means to be peaceful and to live holy.
In living peacefully with the unpeaced maybe it means I just don't deal with you outside the confines of a situation where it's a need. Maybe I decide to be no contact because having contact disturbs my peace. None of that makes me or you any less holy. But it will preserve sanity and peace of mind.
Some people's only goal in life is to disrupt yours. You're on assignment from God and they're not. As a part of your personal self-care take some time today to think about it, list it out, and take a good look at things that would/could cause you to live the opposite of the verse of the day.
Here's an activity:
Split a piece of paper in half longways. Label one side situations, label the other side peace. Summarize the situation, if you need to write more, journal it out then come back to the list.
Next, decide what peace looks like for you in that situation and write it down. If you can't figure that out, find an impartial party to help you. I say impartial because sometimes the people who are close to your struggle with the situation will give you their picture of peace. Although they mean well that might not be what you need. If you can't think of or don't have anyone to bounce things off of, schedule a time to chat with me. This is what I do and have done for 18 years.
Once you've created your list and vision of peace, think of at least one thing you can do to begin to bring peace to that situation. Sometimes, it's as simple as walking away. It might be, "don't go there." It could be, go but take someone with you. You may have lots of things that you can do and that's great but don't overwhelm yourself trying to do everything at one time.
Revisit your list often, add to it if necessary. If you try something and it doesn't work make a note of that and take some time to reflect on what was going on, your feelings, and how you can not appear in this situation again or if should happen again, what you will do differently. Remember, in any situation the only person you have control over is you. We can't predict what others will do, say, or how they will act. We can only make every effort to live out Hebrews 12:14 for ourselves - Live peaceably and be holy.