Having Peace in Stressful Times

Peace? Wars and invasions have kicked the pandemic out of the headlines. As if that will reduce our stress.

Recently, I’ve been reading devotionals from Holley Gerth, and I want to share one that touched my heart.

https://amzn.to/3eZPZzE**This is an excerpt from What your Soul Needs for Stressful Times :

Sometime in recent years it feels like the volume got turned up in our world. The internet in particular can feel like an angsty teenager blaring angry music with no concern for anyone else in the house. Social media is full of rants and arguments. I imagine you, like me, have sometimes wished for virtual earplugs.

The other day a dear friend of mine expressed confusion ocer a particular aspect of this increased noise. “These are people I know,” she said, “and they are nothing like that in real life.”

Why would someone who is normally kind suddenly become so unmerciful online?

Those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness James 3:18 NLT

I suddenly realized that we, as humans, so easily get mixed up about how peace always needs to come first. Sometimes there’s an issue we’re passionate about, something we’re utterly convinced is right (and it may very well be). But then we decide that the rightness is what maters most, more than relationships.

We sacrifice peace for the sake of declaring our position or opinion. We somehow feel doing so is our duty.

We probably all know someone like this. They all have one thing in common: no matter how loud they may shout, no one is really going to listen. And if no one is listening, there is no opportunity for a response…which means no transformation which is true righteousness.

The alternative is for us to be peacemakers wo love others so well that they want to hear what we have to say. Value those who are different than us even if we don’t understand them.

Gentleness is one of the most undervalued qualities in our culture. Yet we are invited to be “gentle at all times” (James 3:17). At home. At work. In church. And on social media.

In 1 Kings 19, God was in the whisper. God is still in the whisper. He doesn’t need to turn up the volume to make himself heard. He doesn’t need us to either.

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