Without inner peace, outer peace is impossible. We all wish for world peace, but world peace will never be acheived unless we first establish peace within our own minds. We can send so-called 'peacekeeping forces' into areas of conflict, but peace cannot be oppossed from the outside with guns. Only by creating peace within our own mind and helping others to do the same can we hope to achieve peace in this world.
Peace should be a hallmark of the godly person, first because it is a Godlike trait: God is called the God of peace several times in the New Testament. He took the initiative to establish peace with rebellious men, and He is the author of both personal peace as well as peace among men. Peace should be part of our character also because God has promised us His peace, because He has commanded us to let peace rule in our lives and relationships, and because peace is a fruit of the Spirit and therefore an evidence of His working in our lives.
There is no peace in South Africa. There is no peace because there is no justice. There can be no real peace and security until there is first justice enjoyed by all inhabitants of this beautiful land. The Bible knows nothing about peace without justice, for that would be crying 'peace, peace,' where there is no peace. God's Shalom, peace, involves inevitable righteousness, justice, wholesomeness, fullness of life, participation in decision making, goodness, laughter, joy, compassion, sharing, and reconciliation.
Peace ca n exist only in the present moment. It is rid iculous to say "Wait until I fi nish this, then I will be free to live in peace." What is "this" ? A di ploma, a job, a house, the payment of a debt? If yo u th ink that way, peace wi ll never come. There is always another "th is" that wi ll fo llow the present one. If you are not living in peace at this moment, you will never be able to . If you truly wa nt to be at peace, you must be at peace right now. Otherwise, there is only "the hope of peace some day.
We must walk according to the highest light we have, encountering lovingly those who are out of harmony, and trying to inspire them toward a better way. Whenever you bring harmony into any unpeaceful situation, you contribute to the cause of peace. When you do something for world peace, peace among groups, peace among individuals, or your own inner peace, you improve the total peace picture.
One of the most persistent ambiguities that we face is that everybody talks about peace as a goal. However, it does not take sharpest-eyed sophistication to discern that while everbody talks about peace, peace has become practically nobody's business among the power-wielders. Many men cry Peace! Peace! but they refuse to do the things that make for peace.
The price of peace is righteousness. Men and nations may loudly proclaim, 'Peace, peace,' but there shall be no peace until individuals nurture in their souls those principles of personal purity, integrity, and character which foster the development of peace. Peace cannot be imposed. It must come from the lives and hearts of men. There is no other way.
We can work on inner peace and world peace at the same time. On one hand, people have found inner peace by losing themselves in a cause larger than themselves, like the cause of world peace, because finding inner peace means coming from the self-centered life into the life centered in the good of the whole. On the other hand, one of the ways of working for world peace is to work for more inner peace, because world peace will never be stable until enough of us find inner peace to stabilize it.
There is a fear of peace that I don't understand. Witness the old epithet "peaceniks," the association of peace with weakness. We mistake kindness for weakness in individuals, too. Gandhi found the essence of Christianity to be gentleness, the exaltation of means over ends. Using violence, against us or them, to achieve peace is like beating children to get them to be good. It only works in the short term. Believe in peace, think peace, live peace. Be a building-block of peace. Make it the center of your strength.
A few really dedicated people can offset the masses of out of harmony people, so we who work for peace must not falter, we must continue to pray for peace and to act for peace in whatever way we can. We must continue to speak for peace and to live the way of peace; to inspire others, we must continue to think of peace and know that peace is possible. What we dwell upon we help bring to manifestation. One little person giving all of her time to peace makes news. Many people giving some of their time can make history.
Don't look for any other state than the one you are in now; otherwise, you will set up inner conflict and unconscious resistance. Forgive yourself for not being at peace. The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace becomes transmuted into peace. Anything you accept fully will get you there, will take you into peace. This is the miracle of surrender.
I am for lasting peace... United, I believe, we can win the battle for peace. But it must be a different peace, one with full recognition of the rights of the Jews in their one and only land: peace with security for generations and peace with a united Jerusalem as the eternal, undivided capital of the Jewish people in the state of Israel forever.
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