The word “peace” appears over and over during the Christmas season. It has many layers of meaning – for our world, our country, our cities, our families, our relationships and with ourselves. For believers, we are celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace, Jesus. Still, managing peacefulness in our own inner world can be very challenging, especially during this busy season. At RLI’s Greater Cincinnati School of Transformational Ministry we study one character trait every week. This week we are delving into the character trait of peacefulness. We hope these ideas give you some new tools to maintain peacefulness in your spirit – this Christmas season and beyond!
1. Take a Snapshot
Do this when you are drinking your coffee or tea in the morning. With your first sip, pause, take a deep breath and freeze the frame like taking a photograph. Observe the blessings in your surroundings.
Think: Every good and perfect gift comes from above, coming down from the Father or of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17
2. Quiet Waters
Do this when washing your hands. Ask God to wash the tension & worry out of your mind and body.
Whenever you touch water throughout the day say ” He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside quiet waters.” Psalm 23:2
3. Peaceful Sleep
Do this when you head rests on the pillow at night. Think of three things that happened for which you are grateful. Actively recall the experience and the feeling.
Say : “I give thanks to you Lord, for you are good, for you steadfast love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1
4. Traffic Stop
Do this when stopped at a red light or when you are presented with unexpected traffic “opportunities” caused by other motorists. Look at the pedestrians and motorists around you and give them a blessing!
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; may the Lord show his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26
5. Take a Deep Breath
Do this when you find yourself getting angry, irritated or frustrated with someone or something. Breathe in through your nose to the count of five. Really feel the air as it come through your nose. Inhale the peace of God and exhale any irritation.
Say to yourself: “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Job 33:4
6. The Shield
Do this when you are in a crowded, annoying environment, a slow line, or when you ‘re being faced with a hostile encounter. Imagine you have a shield in front of you. Let all annoying sights and sounds bounce off your shield.
Think to yourself: “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him and he helps me.” Psalm 28:7
7. Wake Up Call
Do this in the morning just before getting out of bed.
Repeat a peaceful declaration such as “I will experience your peace that surpasses all understanding today.” Phillipians 4:7
Or declare: “Your mercies are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:23
8. See the Glory
Do this when you step outside or when you are driving home at dusk. Take a moment and look at the sky. Think about the vastness and beauty of the universe God keeps in perfect order.
Say: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1