But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23, NASB1995).
Back in my hippie days, we had a motto, “Peace, love, rock ‘n roll!” We even had the peace sign with our hands and a peace sticker on our VW Microbuses.
Our philosophy didn’t work because we failed to deal with one thing – our sin! The Hippie Movement was perhaps the first large-scale social movement in America emphasizing total self-serving peace as a false religion.
I saw an actor recently portraying George Washington. After the performance, he was asked what Washington’s number one virtue would be, and the actor answered, “Civility!”
My parents, who lived through both the Depression and World War II, had God and country as their values.
My generation had “self-serving peace,” but culture today has thrown out our peace sign and has exchanged “self-serving peace” for its evil twin — “self-promoting narcissism.”
My parents had peace, though both endured economic hardship unimaginable today, and both served in the army in World War II. I never heard them talk about their fears or anxieties.
Today, we experience anxiety as a plague.
I believe those who find peace will have great opportunities to witness about the power of Jesus because He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). The world can’t find peace without Jesus, and Christians should have peace by following Jesus.
Jesus said . . .
I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid (John 14:27, NLT).
The question: Do we have peace? Ask yourself, “Do I have peace?”
When I ask God to reveal the root cause of my fears and anxieties and why I lack peace, He responds quickly.
Jesus had a fascinating exchange with a woman who had been washing His feet. First, He said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.” Then Jesus said, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
That’s the formula for peace: Sins + Forgiveness from Jesus = Peace!
Our problem is admitting our sin, being honest that we don’t want to change, and asking for the grace and strength to renounce what is stealing our peace.
My parents found peace by enduring and ignoring underlying pain. As hippies, when leaving a party or a gathering of friends, we would say, “Peace out!” Today, the narcissists say, “I’ll take your peace to make my peace.”
Let’s try the peace found only in Jesus this week.