Greetings my English speaking friends and those wanting to learn, welcome to Just English.
The world is not a peaceful place. Natural disasters are scary enough. But then, people are scary too: wars, corruption, family violence, sexual abuse, and abandoned children. What shall we do?
Someone asked me the other day, “How can we change our culture of violence?”
Personally, my natural desire is to FIGHT for peace. But, is that wise?
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “We will not build a peaceful world by following a negative path. It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it.” (Nobel Lecture, 1964)
What do other wise people in history say about this topic?
Buddha once said, “Better than a thousand hollow words is one word that brings peace.” (BrainyQuote.com)
Jesus said, “Blessed are those who make peace. They will be called God’s children.” (Matthew 5:9).
Lao Tzu said,
If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.
If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart. (Peace-Quotes.net)
These seem to be very wise statements. We cannot bring peace among our nations, cities, or neighborhoods without knowing peace in our own families or hearts.
But how do we find peace in our own heart? How can you find peace?
Jesus said that he gives us peace as a gift. He said, “I’m leaving you peace. I’m giving you my peace. I don’t give you the kind of peace that the world gives. So don’t be troubled or cowardly” (John 14:27).
If that is true, if Jesus gives us peace, how then shall we live in order to share that peace with others?
Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” And then he added, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” (Matthew 22:34-40).
That said, it seems that the best way to bring peace, the best way to change my culture, is to change myself. We cannot always control the way others act but we can control ourselves. This is true, even within our own families and relationships. In order to bring peace, we must live at peace.
And, if our hearts are troubled, we need to communicate with the “Prince of Peace” himself, Jesus.
One of Jesus’ early followers wrote, “Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks. Then God’s peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
Brothers and sisters, as King David said, “There is lasting peace for those who love God and His teachings. Nothing will make those people stumble” (Psalm 119:165).
Love God. Love others. Love and live at peace.
I’m Leon Smith.