“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
This spring and summer, we’re taking a look at each of the Fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians. This week, we’re talking about a Fruit that is often easier said than done: peace.
Unlike some other fruits of the spirit, like self-control or patience, peace is something that most of us naturally seek out and desire for our everyday lives. We want to get rid of conflict and stress in our lives as much as we can!
Think of a day in your life recently that was not peaceful and you felt stressed. Were you struggling to balance your responsibilities with school, work, or sports? Were you in conflict with a friend? Were you feeling frustrated with rude behavior of a sibling? On a day like this, we’re tempted to think: I just want peace!
But, the kind of peace that we often want is not the same sort of peace that we’re called to live in in the scriptures. Peace, in the truest sense, can only be achieved through connecting with the Lord and His heart.
James says, “the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” What does this mean in our lives? How can we sow seeds of peace? When things go wrong, it’s easy for us to think we can fix them on our own. We try to handle our stress alone instead of placing them at the feet of the Lord so that He can calm our hearts and minds. Living in peace is a learned behavior that we get better at the more we do it and the best way to grow in peace is by spending time in prayer and in the Word to learn about God’s heart. The closer we draw to Him, the more we see that peace is not something we make. Peace is something that we gain more and more as we turn to God during the hard times.
This week and in weeks to come, when you’re tempted to tackle stress and conflict on your own, remember these words from Jesus found in the gospel of John: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.” We’re so blessed that peace doesn’t come from ourselves, but that Christ gives peace to us.