Summary: This is a short message given at a downtown mission before a meal.
Peace With Yourself
I want to ask you a question? It’s a simple question. You can call out your answer or just keep it in your mind.
Who is your best friend?
That’s probably a person you’ve spent a lot of time with, someone you’ve grown to trust. Someone who has your back, and you have their back. It’s good to have a friend.
Now here’s another question. Who is your worst enemy? You might not want to call that out.
Sometimes when we think about that question honestly, we might say that: you know, I’m my worst enemy. I’m the one that gets in my own way. I’m the one who’s always around who sometimes doesn’t behave like much of a friend to myself.
Can anyone relate?
You know, we think about conflict in the world around us. I haven’t worried about nuclear war since 1989 when the Berlin Wall fell, but nowadays the news is filled with Trump threatening to destroy N. Korea or Kim Jong Un on N. Korea threatening to bomb the US.
Isn’t that weird? There’s conflicts outside of us, but there’s also conflicts inside of us. You know what a civil war is? What was the American civil war about? They were fighting themselves. The North fighting the South, over self-rule and over slavery.
Somebody said this:“In every man there is a tension; every man is a walking civil war...” Think about that.
Sometimes our worst enemy is our self. Sometimes the place we really need peace is inside our own hearts and minds.
We need to stop being in our own way. We need to cease sabotaging our own best interests. We need to get a grip and find some peace.
But man, that’s hard to do. If we’ve not got peace on the inside, if we’re some kind of walking civil war, what do we do?
There’s lots of self-help books out there that can teach you behaviour modification, that can make you aware of some things that might be in the way and offer some tools to change. And that’s good and it might even help a bit.
But what if peace could come into our lives another way. What if someone with a huge overabundance of peace was willing to share some of that with us, and implant it in our lives.
That’s basically what Jesus says He does. He says this: In the gospel of John: 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Jesus says that He has the power and the ability to give us not just peace, but his own peace. Jesus is a peaceful guy.
When He was on earth He went through some of the worst things a person could ever go through, and He didn’t lose His peace.
So one way to have peace, a way that a lot of staff and community members here can talk about, testify to, is to open your life to Jesus.
To consider His offer of His own peace that He makes to you and to me and to everybody who is willing to receive it.
See, when you don’t have peace, a lot of the reason for that can be that you don’t forgive yourself for things you’ve done.
Jesus offers to forgive you completely everything you’ve ever done, and to even heal you, over time, of the effects of the bad things that have happened in your life.
He can do that because He totally gets what it is to live a hard, hard life - He did that Himself on this planet.
And He can do that because He’s actually God, in the flesh. Offering to forgive you, offering to hold you, offering you His love and His deep and abiding peace.
I’m not sure what could be better. I’ve lived with His peace for 37 years, and when I blow it nowadays, when I behave like my own worst enemy,
He holds me, He keeps me close and He reminds me of His presence. And in that, in His presence, is peace.
So may we go to Jesus, may we go to God when we know we really need to have peace with ourselves. He will give us what we need. Amen? Amen.