Recently, I heard the phrase, “Hold your peace.” But for some reason, it meant something entirely differently to me than the usual meaning. The standard definition is, “to keep silent, or not say anything about something.” But to me, it instantly brought to mind God’s admonition to seek His Peace.
Isn’t that what we’re all trying to do, after all? HOLD onto our peace? God very much wants us to be in Peace in whatever we do. 2 Thessalonians 3:16 He is Peace. Isaiah 9:6 And if you search all the verses the speak about God’s gift of Peace for us, and all the ones that reference how we are not to fear (basically, the opposite of peace) it is clear how important this is.
“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace . . .” 1 Corinthians 14:33 So when we experience confusion, fear, stress . . . anything that is not peaceful, we can know that it is not from God, and that we do not have to honor that in our lives.
I have struggled lately with feeling like doing the right thing is hard, like trying to figure out His will for me was difficult, and my path was fraught with struggle. Now these feelings have to do with many things, such as truly accepting God’s grace. But God’s answer to me has a very important message about peace. Over and over in the past year God has spoken to me these words of Jesus: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 And I asked why? Why? Why do you keep giving me these verses? Why does it seem so hard and so heavy? And yet I knew that despite all temporal appearances, God’s Words are the Truth. And that Jesus’ way is easy, and light, and peaceful. And the answer is that you have to hold your Peace.
“Seek peace and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14 And as I began to do that more and more I really, really and truly, felt the truth of what God had been telling me.
Don’t add commitments to your schedule that cause you stress and anxiety, or cause you to neglect things you know are more important. This is a big one. I have always loved the quote that goes something like – and I’m paraphrasing here – “You have all the time in a day to do everything that God wants you to do.” Profound. If God doesn’t want you to be all stressed, and crazy, and not getting enough sleep, and yelling at your kids to hurry up, then why would He have a to-do list for you that makes you that way? So if you find those things creeping into your life . . . just follow Peace. He has given you all the time you need for those things which are needful.
Don’t – and now this one is just for you guys, ‘cuz I NEVER mess this one up (ah-hem) – create unnecessary conflict in your relationships by having to argue points that don’t need to be argued, or have the last word, or even a.l.w.a.y.s. have an opinion at all. Follow Peace. Now I’m not saying never put your two cents in, or stand up for yourself. But if you practice this you will feel the difference between saying something to satisfy your flesh, and saying something because it’s honoring to God. Regardless of whether or not what you say causes a conflict with another person, the former will bring strife, and grief, and guilt – the later will bring truth, and inner peace (if not greater peace to the relationship as well).
And don’t worry. If you are holding onto your Peace – that’s your job. Everything else is God’s job. He is in control. He will work everything out. Romans 8:28
Holding our peace does not always mean that our outside circumstances will be forever peaceful. “I have learned the secret of being content (peaceful) in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13 But our hearts and minds will be at peace. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 And I believe it will translate to greater peace in your circumstances as well.
So this Christmas, as we are called to ponder the things in life that are most important, and look toward the start of a brand new year, I wholeheartedly encourage you to Hold Your Peace.