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May 21 2013

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Why do some people have inner peace while others do not?

“Because they think they have more thinking in their head,” says Patrick, age 5.

Too much of the wrong kind of thinking in our head is called worry. Lewis and Faye Copeland tell the story of a man who was offered a job to do all the worrying for the boss.

“You get $100,000 to make every worry of mine your own,” said the executive.

“Where is the $100,000 coming from?” asked the applicant.

“Ah, that’s your first worry!” replied the executive.

“Some people don’t have inner peace because they worry about what they are going to eat and drink,” says Mitchel, 12. “God tells us not to worry about that stuff in Matthew 6:25-26.”

Good homework, Mitchel, but you forgot one item. Jesus mentioned clothing, as well. There’s a large department store in my neighborhood that wants me to worry about clothes. Almost every week, I receive mail that advertises the latest sales.

It’s easy to get so caught up in the details of our physical lives that we neglect our spiritual lives. Be grateful for what God has provided, but don’t get so wrapped up in “stuff ” that you spend time worrying about it. The Lord Jesus said to look at the birds. They don’t sow or reap, yet God takes care of them. Howmuch more will he take care of you?

“Some people just don’t know what inner peace is,” says Savannah, 8. “Maybe it’s just that they are so rushed. If people could slow down, maybe it would help.”

In the midst of blaring trumpets, trombones and saxophones, the late Count Basie sometimes sat watching from his piano as though he were a spectator. He delighted in striking a single note that would send his audiences through the roof because it was so perfect.

“Less is more” not only describes the Count’s musical s

tyle, but it also characterizes those who seek God’s kingdom first. They don’t allow a myriad of nonessentials to rule their lives. The habitually rushed life is usually the confused life. I once saw a sign that read “Live for God: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.”

“Some people don’t like to be quiet a lot,” says Lauren, 7.

Someone should develop a 12-step program called “Noise Addicts Anonymous.” This program would help people withdraw from the constant noise of televisions, radios, stereos, phones and computer games.

“Some people do not have inner peace because they have so much anger in them,” says Valerie, 10.

It feels so right to be angry when someone wrongs us. The choice is obvious:

Grit your teeth and live in bitterness, or forgive as Jesus Christ has forgiven.

“Some people have inner peace because they have happiness and joy inside them. Jesus has inner peace,” says Mindy, 7.

Before the Apostle Paul tells his readers to be anxious for nothing but to pray about everything, he writes, “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4). If this sounds unrealistic, consider the role of joy in the crucifixion of Christ. Scripture says it was the “joy that was set before Him” that allowed Jesus to endure the cross and despise its shame (Hebrews 12:2).

The joy of knowing a God bigger than any set of circumstances produces confidence and endurance.

Think about this: What you seek determines whether you have inner peace. Memorize this truth: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

Ask this question: Does what you seek lead to peace?

By Carey Kinsolving

photo courtesy of Stock.xchng

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