We'll never make peace with ourselves
C.S. Lewis reminds us, "God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing." I think we look a whole lot of places for happiness - from within relationships to the things we purchase. We look for peace but find circumstances and attitudes that don't really support it. How are we to find peace if it is so elusive? Romans 8:5-7 tells us, "Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will." Perhaps the only way we find true and lasting peace is to allow peace to actually enter into each of us by saying 'yes' to Jesus!
The sinful nature wants to dominate us - to invade our thoughts, form our attitudes, and influence our actions. Allowing our sinful nature to be at the helm in our lives will surely never produce peace - it is at war with God! No wonder Jesus promised us the gift of his Spirit residing within, for we need his direction to defeat negative and damaging thought. Until our thought life is dealt with, all the work we do to 'create peace' in our lives, let alone seek happiness, will be worthless. I don't know about you, but I don't like seeking worthless things. I once heard someone say we had to make peace with ourselves before we could find peace in this world. I would challenge that thought and say until we make peace with God, allowing him to replace our sinful nature with his new nature, we won't really ever know true and lasting peace.
Thomas Merten tells us, "We are not at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves, and we are not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God." All the efforts of mankind to 'find' peace in a set of circumstances, believing if we 'fashion things just right', we will be at peace with each other is kind of 'pie in the sky' thinking. We are never going to find peace with each other until we find peace with God - period. What is one of the biggest things that keeps us from finding peace with God? It is likely our pride. We don't believe we have the need for him in our lives - it is as though we see him as a 'crutch' some need to lean upon, but not us. I have had several knee injuries in my lifetime, resorting to the use of crutches to allow healing to occur. I will tell you this - were it not for the 'crutch' supporting the weight of my body, my leg would never have healed!
Sometimes we need to admit we don't know what we don't know. Those who think they have no need for God in their lives are really deceived - either by themselves or by the thoughts of others. All of mankind was made with a 'hollow space' where God's Spirit should dwell. To lean into our own pride and say we have no need for God to fill that space because we can 'fill it' some other way is foolishness. Remember, the fool is the one saying he has no need for God. (Psalm 14:1) If you have ever had one of those toolboxes that have all the cut-out shapes for each of the tools, you know you cannot put a hammer into the slot for the socket wrench - it doesn't fit. So, why would we ever try to put something else into the 'space' in our lives that was made specifically for God's presence? Just askin...