This is the third post in a series.
Another part of the fruit that the Spirit produces in us is peace. Peace is usually thought of as the absence of conflict or hostility. That is true. Christ brought peace and reconciliation between us and the Father and we are called to be peacemakers and agents of reconciliation. I think in this case it goes deeper.
The Hebrew word Shalom, which is usually translated peace, carries the idea of wholeness and flourishing. We can have an absence of conflict or hostility and still not have wholeness. The culture around us tells us that the way to flourish is to drive this, wear that. Drink this, use this toothpaste. Accumulate things and buy a bigger house to put them in, get that perfect job. Marry that person.
Those things are not wrong in themselves. They become an issue when we think that those things will make our lives complete and bring us wholeness. Nothing in or of this world will ever bring us real peace. True peace only comes when the beauty of Jesus captivates us and our love for him grows and makes all other loves and all other narratives of flourishing fade. As that happens, the peace that the Spirit produces fills us whether we have much or have little. Then we can say with Paul that we have learned to be content in all circumstances.
May the beauty of Jesus become the all-surpassing story of our lives and may his peace fill us to overflowing.
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