Friday, September 16, 2011
Where is peace? 2
Webster has defined peace for us stating that it comes from getting rid of something or getting away from something.
I’d like to make the case that peace comes not necessarily by getting rid of our problems, but refocusing our thoughts to what God wants us to think about.
“Peace is that calm of mind that is not ruffled by adversity, overclouded by a remorseful conscience, or disturbed by fear.” (quote source and original author unknown)
Peace does not come only with the absence of the storm. We should be able to find our peace in the very presence of the storm because Jesus is always walking there beside us, and we’ve got our eyes on Him.
It is important to learn that peace means "being in a right relationship." So carrying this thought to it obvious conclusion, peace with one another means being in a right relationship with one another.
Peace within means being in right relationship with ourselves and with God. A few days ago we talked a little about toxic thinking, and part of what I was driving at was that once we recognize those thoughts, we want to move forward into the realm of reality thinking and right relationships with others, God and ourselves.
How do we get there?
1. Peace comes through a mind that forgives. (vs. 2-3)
The church that Paul was writing to, the church in the city of Philippi did not have peace. One of the main reasons for this lack of peace in the church was two women that were fighting with one another. Their names were Eu-o-dia and Syn-ty-che.
We have no record of what they were fighting about, but whatever it was, it had separated their friendship with each other. And, if you think of broken relationships in these terms, it sounds almost painful. We are separated from the rightness of relationships. Now, we don't have this relationship with everyone; but here we talking about a right relationship that once existed, but is no more.
This situation was creating enough of a problem that word had gotten all the way to Paul who was in prison. Paul knew that this was something that he had to deal with because he knew how destructive fights between individuals within the church can be to the life of that church.
Look at what he says in verse 1. He describes the people of this church as brothers, the ones he longs to be with because of his love for them. He calls them his source of joy and his crown. And he calls them his friends.
Paul started the church at Philippi. Most of the people in the church had been saved as a result of Paul’s teaching. That included these two women who were now fighting.
The people there were a labor of love for Paul, and now, it looked like things might fall apart.
Have you ever been there? You’ve put your whole heart and soul into some project or person, and something so small that it may go unnoticed initially, gets in the way and destroys everything that you have worked for.
Little problems kill!
Little problems kill relationships; kill our spirit and left untreated can kill us.
What little things have you let fester in your heart that keep you separated? Separated from other people? Separated from your peace?