Greetings In the Resurrected Lord,
I hope that you and your family had a wonderful Easter Sunday and are off to a good start as we continue celebrating the season of Easter for six more weeks.
I am preaching this Sunday using the lectionary text John 20:19-31. Most see this as the doubting Thomas story (and it is here) but there's more to this story. Here, we find the Church being born as Jesus breathes on the disciples calling on them to receive the Holy Spirit. It is here where we find the secret to peace, peace within, Jesus stood in the midst of his disciples and said, “Peace be with you!”
I confess to you that I have known some Christians who have anything but peace. Jesus wants his followers to have peace. Peace has to be our greatest need, wouldn't you agree? Peace comes when we fall into the arms of our Heavenly Father. Jesus says to each of us this day: “Peace be with you!” Will you lean in?
How do we find peace of mind? Duke University did on this very subject years ago. They listed eight keys to emotional and mental stability. I find them helpful and maybe you will too:
The first key is, “Get rid of suspicion and resentment.” Nursing a grudge is a major factor in unhappiness.
The second is, “Don’t live in the past.” An unwholesome preoccupation with old mistakes and failures leads to depression.
The third key is, “Don’t waste time and energy fighting conditions you cannot change.” Cooperate with life, instead of trying to run away from it.
The fourth is, “Force yourself to stay involved with the living world.” Resist the temptation to withdraw and become reclusive during periods of emotional stress.
The fifth is, “Refuse to indulge in self-pity when life hands you a raw deal.” Accept the fact that nobody gets through life without some sorrow and misfortune.
The sixth is, “Cultivate the old-fashioned virtues love, humor, compassion and loyalty.”
Number seven is, “Do not expect too much of yourself.” When there is too wide a gap between self-expectation and your ability to meet the goals you have set, feelings of inadequacy are inevitable.
Number eight is “Find something bigger than yourself to believe in.” Self-centered egotistical people score lowest on any test for measuring happiness. (1)
Peace within would seem to be natural for followers of Jesus. “Find something bigger than yourself to believe in.”
www.drdanabeezleysmith.com Duke Study on Peace of Mind Monday, May 14, 2012