“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” ~2 Thessalonians 3:16 NLT.
Peace is a gift from God.
We have the ability to use it whenever we need it because He never leaves us, which means His peace never leaves us. Why then, do we worry or fear things, if we believe in God? Our old self gets in the way. Christ sacrificed Himself to cleanse us of who we were and give us a way to be new. When we make the choice to accept His free gift, it can be difficult to give up our old ways. At times, even when we think we have fully committed to change, our new self can take a back seat of our bossy old self.
Put off the old and put on the new!
Everything we do becomes a habit.
As a therapist, I am constantly telling my patients that in order to break an old habit, they need to practice new ones, constantly. Our minds and bodies cannot make lasting changes if we are not consistently practicing the change we want to see. We need to identify the issues needing to be changed and practice healthier habits to take their place.
In the grand scheme of our physical health, our bodies need things put in it that helps it run and maneuver better. If I fill a jar with oil, it can appear that nothing else can fit in the jar. Oil is not refreshing: it’s messy, clogs arteries, and slows us down. However, if I begin to pour pure water into that same oil filled jar, what happens is astounding. The water is heavier than the oil so the oil floats to the top and the good (water) pushes the bad (oil) out of the jar.
The same will occur with our thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. If we choose to fill our selves with things that are refreshing, we will then be refreshed. Life giving water (God’s Word), refreshes the soul and pushes out the toxicity of evil thoughts and deeds.
Push out the old by pushing in the new!
The first line of defense for an attack of the enemy on your words, thoughts, and deeds is His Word. It is actually called a Spring of Living Water, water that quenches the thirst of our souls. Living water that never runs dry. We can never be afraid of going thirsty, feeling heat exhaustion from our anger, or reaching for a secondary drink that will only give temporary relief because the Bible completely refreshes those who are in it.
With most of my therapy sessions, I have patients I am not allowed to share this truth with. It is considered unethical to “push my religion” on someone. If they bring up the subject first, then permission is granted. More often than not, the patients who are willing to listen and utilize the Word of God become restored. They are successfully discharged from services because their minds have been renewed.
Those that do not bring up God, the Bible, or church, need to rely on man’s version of peace. Man’s suggestions of peace are like putting a Band-Aid on top of a gaping wound. It may slow the bleeding down but it will not prevent infection and something bigger will need to be done eventually.
Quick fixes are only good in the moment.
I teach them about mindfulness, breathing exercises, coping skills, distress tolerance skills, and how to identify triggers. In layman’s terms: how to identify the issue and put a Band-Aid on it so they can get through the moment. Unfortunately, Satan is really good at stealing our peace so those moments become more frequent and significantly stronger.
If you need a quick fix, here is a list of potential things that may help in the moment:
- Journal your feelings
- Write a letter to the person who harmed you (you can choose to send or not)
- Use any art medium to express your feelings on canvas
- Go for a walk or run
- Workout at the gym
- Do a puzzle or build a DIY project
- Love on a pet
- Volunteer at a pet shelter
- Read a book or poem
- Listen to music
- Bake or cook something
- Practice deep breathing exercises
- Do some Yoga
- Watch a comedy routine or movie
- Get a massage
- Take a drive to look at pretty scenery
- Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a long time to catch up
- Rhythmically tighten and relax each muscle in your body, from head to toe
- Take a bubble bath
- Take your shoes and socks off to allow you feet to be planted on the ground and feel the sensations affecting the soles of your feet
This is not an exhaustive list, I could come up with more, but these are only temporary. Peace is a state of being. Contentment. It is being okay even when things do not appear to be okay from the outside looking in.
God’s fixes are longer lasting and continue to grow.
When worry, doubt, fear, anxiety, or any other number of negative emotions start to creep in, look to the best practice possible. SCRIPTURE.
There is a concordance in the back of nearly every Bible. First, go to a thesaurus and identify the antonym of your feeling. Hate/Love. Anxiety/Peace. Whatever it may be, look in the concordance for verses that speak specifically about that antonym. Study each one to see which ones were just for you in your time of need. Write them on 3×5 notecards to tack all over your house, in your car, or on your spouse if you think it will help. Read them over and over until they are what is being pushed in…so the bad can be pushed out. Get the toxins out.
One of the greatest resources on how to live a contented lifestyle, according to God’s Word, is Holy Hygge by Jamie Erickson. You can also download her podcast Holy Hygge where she addresses the main points of Hygge from a Biblical perspective.
For this next week of learning about peace, February 26th – March 4th, any person who answers the peace question I have posted on my Instagram will be entered to win a signed copy of her book. I would love for my readers to hear from others about how they find peace, God-related or not, so consider giving your ideas on how to create peace in your life.