So far, the attention has been on what peace is and that it is offered to us in God Himself. But how do we find peace? Psalm 34:14 says, “Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” How do we seek peace?
Thankfully, in Psalm 34:14, the first part somewhat answers the second – turn away from evil. I would venture to say that part of seeking and finding peace involves an intentional redirection of thoughts, actions, attitudes, conversation – anything that falls in the evil/sin category.
I cringe at what I am about to tell you. Not long ago, I was enjoying a television show that really had me enthralled in the storyline. I love a good piece – whether film or book – that contains elements of history, romance, intrigue, war, and mystery. This one checked all of the boxes. But it became more graphic than what I anticipated. Because I am a very visually oriented person, scenes would stay in my brain longer than I wanted. And even though those actions were depicted as evil in the show, my mind was still lingering and recalling evil when the thoughts weren’t welcomed. So I confessed to my husband and to God about how the show was affecting me and stopped watching it.
That was the most freeing thing I could have done. The more time has passed, the less those scenes come up in my mind (incredibly rare, I would say). My mind is at peace, free from the intensity of that one show.
To some of you, this may seem like a ridiculous example. Others may be feeling convicted about something they are watching. (And the rest of you are wondering what show I am talking about, which I am not going to tell you so you either A. won’t feel shame on account of my convictions or B. won’t go watch it to see what I am referring to!)
The whole point is this: we have an option, daily, to turn away from evil. It is one of the ways we pursue peace. It may mean choosing to keep quiet instead of blowing up at a loved one. It may mean not trying to make others notice you, stemming from a sense of pride or insecurity. It could look like speaking up for truth when you know evil is about to happen. Turning away from evil may look like not thinking poorly of another – or of yourself. And it most assuredly looks like believing God for who He says He is.
Questions to ponder:
- How are you seeking peace?
- Is there anything in your life nagging you that you keep justifying involvement? This is a good sign that it is time to turn away from it and seek peace.
- What does it look like to pursue peace with your thoughts? How can you “do good” even in your thought life?
Well, this one definitely took a turn I wasn’t expecting. There will be a part two as we uncover another aspect of finding peace – the gospel of peace.