New Year, Better Me: Pursuing Peace in 2017

It seems that some people have been put on this earth just to try my patience. But it can be done, I’m not saying I’ll never be offended. I’m only saying that I can control how I respond to the offense.

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 “For the one who wants to enjoy life and see good days [good—whether apparent or not]. Must keep his tongue free from evil and his lips from speaking guile (treachery, deceit) He must turn away from wickedness and do what is right.

He must search for peace [with God, with self, with others] and pursue it eagerly [actively—not merely desiring it].”

1 Peter 3:10-11  AMP

 

I am on the pursuit for peace. Peace with God, peace with myself, but mostly peace with others.
Since I’ve been at my current job I have struggled with some difficult personalities, that’s nothing new in itself but when coworkers offended me I would hold on to that offense. I’d let it fester, replaying what they said in my mind over and over. Eventually it would turn into resentment, negative thoughts towards that person, and ultimately unforgiveness. I’d eventually move on but it would take some time, a lot of prayer, and a lot of scripture.

But what if I didn’t have to do all that?  What if I could save myself the time and stress and not let it bother me at all?

Easier said than done I know. It seems that some people have been put on this earth just to try my patience. But it can be done, I’m not saying I’ll never be offended. I’m only saying that I can control how I respond to the offense. I can choose to not to let it take up valuable real estate in my mind. So instead of reacting negatively and harboring resentment and unforgiveness, which is sin, instead I can rise above the anger not letting it disturb my peace.

“Good sense and discretion make a man slow to anger,
And it is his honor and glory to overlook a transgression or an offense [without seeking revenge and harboring resentment]. “

Proverbs 19:11 AMP

I love that verse. It’s my honor and glory to overlook an offense. Nothing is gained from harboring resentment, but by letting it go God can be glorified. How you ask? Well we live in a world that LOVES confrontation. Just watch any reality TV show or scroll through your Facebook feed. There is plenty of videos of fights and vague venting. The world feeds on strife and discord. So when an employee comes for me, they are expecting clapback but I’m not going to give it to them. Instead of reacting with attitude I can peaceably communicate my concerns, rejecting worldly behavior and embracing Godly behavior.
If the conversation does not go as planned, or I don’t think a consensus was reached. I must not take that anger home with me because it will lead to sin.

“In your anger do not sin.” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”

Ephesians 4:26-27

On a less spiritual note, letting someone disturb my peace gives that person power over me and that is just unacceptable. I won’t let trivial work stuff control my mood or my day anymore.

One thing I have done to help with my pursuit of peace is write down Proverbs 19:11 on a sticky note and tape it to my desk. Whenever I start to feel irritated or frustrated I read it. I’ve also added asking for peace to my daily prayers.

I’m interested if others have struggled with offense and peace. What helps you get through it?

Whole

He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Mark 5:34, NIV

denise
For she said, If I may but touch his clothes, I shall be whole.  Mark 5:28, KJV

 

Besides Jesus, who is your Biblical hero?

My Biblical hero isn’t someone you’d think of when you hear the word “hero.” She isn’t easily recognizable, she isn’t heavily referenced in movies or books, in fact she is nameless in the Bible. She is “The Woman with the Issue of Blood.” It all happens in a few verses in Mark 5:25-34.
The woman had had a disease where for 12 years she had been bleeding. She had been to many doctors and spent all her money but no one could help her. Instead she only grew worse. So when Jesus came to town she saw her chance to be healed. There was a crowd around Jesus but she knew within herself that if she could just touch his clothing she would be healed. And that’s what happened the moment she touched him.

Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. Mark 5:29, NIV

I admire her so because she didn’t wait for Jesus to come to her, or wait for the chance that maybe he would pass her way, she went to him. I’m sure with a disease like hers leaving and moving around couldn’t have been easy. The story takes place in Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth, and in a Jewish town she was most likely an outcast. She was constantly bleeding and therefore “unclean”.But she took a chance, faced the crowds and in her misery and desperation she put her faith into action.
How many people out there are desperate and miserable but are waiting for the miracle to come to them?

Another reason I love her is because I see a little bit of myself in her story. You see I had disease too, I was sick with emptiness. I knew who God was in a general sense, but there was no relationship. I had this feeling that there was something missing from my life. I was tired of floating around with no purpose, but then Jesus came to town in a few forms. Through an impactful Christmas service, and I had a friend who would take me to Bible study. I saw a chance to be something I hadn’t been before and I purchased a One Year Bible. That was me touching him.

I wanted to know exactly what God wanted from me and to know what he was all about. I had heard it from others, now it was time to know for myself. It was a decision that changed my life. The peace that came over me when I read those words was unlike anything I had ever experienced. I knew that Jesus could make me whole.
I was baptized not too much longer after finishing that Bible and life has never been the same.
When you reach out to Jesus you will never be disappointed.

He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Mark 5:34, NIV

 

Who is your Biblical hero and why? I would love to know!

 

 

*photo by Heather Hazzan