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Peace or Panic? What Day Is It?

Okay, so the political, international, economic, financial, social world, alright all of it, is in a bit of turmoil. Some might say we don't have a prayer at this point. And people could all pitch in their can't-miss reasons why it's so bad, who they think's at fault and the solutions they are sure will fix everything.

Oh wait, we already have that. It's called "Next Door," or the other community chatter groups.

For me, my response to it all is closer to peace and calm one day to panic the next, running to websites that search for international airfares. I'll bet Bora Bora is nice this time of year. Oh yeah, but it's nice there every day.

Some people, however, ignore the problems and hope they'll go away. They cling to memories of the last time when things did get better, at least sort of. Others read every word of the hype about how terrible things are and believer that the only thing to do now is guard what you have, put lots of food in the pantry, buy precious metals and get a generator.

And while there may be some wisdom here and there, there are five things that seem to me essential to giving us the peace we're seeking. So let me use an acrostic of PEACE to spell out the five that can help in the midst of chaos.

P - Pray. Pray for heart change in ourselves, family, friends and even critics. Pray for a love for and respect of one another with whom we disagree and a willingness to talk, not demand that we're always right or exhibit what I call "one way tolerance." See "E".

E - Engage those with whom we may disagree. If we want unity and respect, then we will do much by modeling it first. That often opens the door to more discussion, understanding and genuine change.

A - Assess every idea presented as truth before you jump on the band wagon of that thought or response. It's been shown that many of the cries for money online, appealing to us to give to meet their crisis are overblown, exaggerated and in some cases just not true. They may be a scam playing on the real problems. Always fact check any non-trusted or unknown group's hypothesis.

C - Communicate with those who are the influencers in our culture. No one can connect with them all, but start with those issues you are passionate about by making your voice and thoughts known. Comments matter though it can seem like they don't. Be gracious and kind, but firm. Have examples and proof not mere claims by the uninformed.

E - Exemplify what you're hoping for. There's no more powerful proof of the validity of our beliefs than living them out. Theory is only an idea until it's shown that the theory works and can be validated.

Yes, we may worry and that's normal, but it doesn't mean we can't have peace. Peace doesn't mean we'll always feel good when struggles, chaos and distrust are all around us. Peace does mean that we can experience calm no matter the outcome, that God's in control so we can be too. I Peter 3:11 says we must "seek peace and pursue it."

And it's closer than we think. I guess we do have a prayer, don't we?


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