KTAG: Inner Peace
- Carey Kinsolving Columnist
- 2004 16 Aug
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. How much 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."
My favorite jazz musician of all time is the late Count Basie. In the midst of blaring trumpets, trombones and saxophones, the Count sometimes sat watching from his piano as though he were a spectator. I remember how 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 style, but it also characterizes those who seek God's kingdom first. They don't allow a myriad of non-essentials to rule their lives. The habitually rushed life is usually the confused life. To help maintain the proper perspective, I have a sign that reads "Live for God: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff."
"Some people don't like to be quiet a lot," says Lauren, 7. Those that have inner peace "must have a quiet house," adds Victoria, 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 and telephones. The average American watches more than four hours of television a day.
"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 Pollyannaish, consider the role of joy in the crucifixion of Christ. Scripture says it was the "joy 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.
Point to ponder: What you seek determines whether you have inner peace. Scripture to remember: "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matthew 6:33). Question to consider: Does what you seek lead to peace?
Inspire your children by reading this column with them and visiting the Kids Talk About God website at www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org. Bible quotations are from the New King James Version.
And -- You'll smile, laugh and wonder when you see the new KTAG TV commercials and hear the radio spots at www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org.
© 2004 CAREY KINSOLVING