When we want what God wants and not what we want we are on our way to a peaceful life. As people of faith, this is the pathway to peace and tranquility. This kind of peace can only happen when we earnestly seek what God wants us to do and more importantly what He wants us to be.
We fail more often than we should. We are just human. But God has given us a remedy for failure, it’s called forgiveness. We ask for forgiveness and get back on track and then try to do everything we can to please God. As we set our feet firmly on this path we leave behind a whole lot of guilt and shame. God replaces guilt and shame with peace and confidence.
When we do what others want and not what we want we find a peaceful way to live. This is very hard to do because we want what we want! We have ideas about what is right and fair and it is easy to insist that others see things the way we do. We are afraid of being taken advantage if we prefer others above ourselves. We are also reluctant if we give others what they want we will sacrifice our needs and wants. Preferring others above ourselves is not easy.
Nevertheless, we must try. Relationships improve when we do everything possible to please others above pleasing ourselves. When we take this path marriages improve, friendships are stronger, and family squabbles are put to rest. We are more peaceful when we have given ourselves up to what other want and need. If nothing else, the absence of striving and fighting with people will give us a lot of inward tranquility.
When we want less and not more we are following a peaceful path. There is so much anxiety and fear wrapped up in wanting, expecting, and striving for more. It’s exhausting over time. In every age, including our own, we see how easy it is for wealth, prestige, and fame, to become an an obsession; inordinately sought and unfortunately sought above all else.
As people of faith, when more is not a channel for providing resources for those we love and reaching out to those who are less advantaged our inward peace is in jeopardy. The Scriptures are clear that giving to others is the only God given reason for more. If we give to those we love and to those in need we will have the inward peace we need.
The peaceful and tranquil path is to be good stewards when it comes to money. This means we should make what we can, save and invest what we can, and give what we can – then let it go. Worrying about money will do little or nothing for us. Inward peace is the result of accepting what God has given us and sharing what we have received!
This short essay is partly inspired by “The Imitations of Christ” by Thomas A’Kempis. When writing about inward peace he wrote, “Seek to do the will of others, rather than you own. Always choose less rather than more. Always wish and pray that the will of God be fully carried out in you”
Joseph C. Hutchison