What peace is not
2 Thessalonians 3
"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way ..." (v.16)
It will be easier to bring out the true character of peace if we seek to show how it differs from other states of mind with which it has a superficial resemblance.
Firstly, peace is not passivity. Some people are abnormally unreactive by temperament. Their natures are bovine -- slow like an ox. They just seem to let the world wash by and take no resolute attitude to life at all. It is possible to look at someone with a temperament like this and conclude that they are manifesting the fruit of the Spirit
. But passivity is as far removed from peace as chalk is from cheese. One is natural, the other supernatural.
Again, peace is not mental gymnastics. Today's world is full of "mind-healers" who promise that if you attend their seminars or enroll in their courses, they will give you the poise and integration you always wanted. An advertisement says: "Let us show you how to achieve peace of mind." The phrase "peace of mind" in itself reveals the shallowness of the approach. You cannot have peace of mind until you have something deeper than peace of mind. When you have peace at the depths of your spirit, then peace of mind is the result of that deeper peace. You cannot have peace of mind if there is conflict in the spirit. Peace, which is the fruit of the Spirit, includes peace of mind, but it goes deeper than the mind and reaches to the center of the spirit. When peace flows there, then and only then can a person experience peace of mind. To tinker with the mind and let the depths be untouched is just to tinker.
Prayer: O Father, breathe into my spirit right now the deep serenity and peace that characterize Your own nature, so that all who come close to me shall feel Your peace. Amen.
For Further Study
1. How are we kept in perfect peace?
2. Where does the Lord cause us to dwell?