So is it just me, or has the whole world gone bananas?
For instance, the other day on Twitter, there were women fighting ferociously over whether a character on a Hallmark television show should have picked one suitor or another. And it wasn’t like the episode just aired—it happened MONTHS ago! But they were in it to win it!
I told Jamie about it, and he said the same thing was happening on his feed but with football. I don’t remember what else he said after that…something to do with football.
Still, you get the point—people are out of control fighting about everything. And it’s sad.
Even sadder is when you see Christians viciously attacking each other on social media. For instance, a few weeks ago, a well-known pastor posted that he got his vaccination. You would have thought he’d denied the Gospel the way he was attacked on social media. It was out of control! Honestly, it was just sad.
While I wish this were a one-time occurrence, I see it almost every day. Christians are fighting each other and anyone who disagrees with them over issues large and small.
Yes, I know there are things in this world that are worth fighting for. Anyone who knows me knows that I believe what I believe, and I am willing to stand firm for it. Yes, I understand that some things are very upsetting. I, too, often find myself disturbed and concerned, fearful and sometimes angry by many of the things that are happening in our world.
Yet, I believe it is our responsibility to find a way to exist in a troubling world while still maintaining our peace. As Jesus said in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Thousands of years ago, Jesus knew that social, political, and personal turmoil was always going to be a part of life. This is normal. Yet, He promises that we can have peace.
Philippians 4:7 calls it a ‘peace that passes understanding’:
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
How how do we get there? Even more importantly, how do we exhibit it to those around us?
Here are a few ideas:
1. Turn off the news
The days of “just the facts Ma’am,” are over. Every news outlet—right or left has an agenda. They also want to make money. They do this by getting people stirred up. Basically, the more upset you are, the more you watch, the more money they make.
If you want to be a person of peace, you have to take yourself off the treadmill. The best way to do this is to stop watching or severely limit your intake of the news. After the last election, I drastically cut back on my news intake. I still know what’s going on, but it’s not on my mind all the time.
2. Put down the phone.
Sometimes we all need a social media break. I’m not necessarily saying you need to be the person who dramatically announces they are leaving Facebook (usually to return a few days later). I’m just saying put the phone down for a while. Let it in another room. Lift your head and live the life that’s happening around you. Remember how peaceful life was before we were all glued to our phones? I’ve discovered that you can experience that again if you just let your phone in another room for a while.
3. Spend time with Jesus.
The world has lots of ideas about how you can find peace: drugs, alcohol, yoga, meditation.
However, none of these things will bring you real peace.
Here’s the truth: drugs and alcohol only lead to more problems, not true peace. You will never find true peace through yoga, meditation, or any other ritual from false religion. These things will only open your mind to demonic influences, which will lead to more chaos and confusion in your life. Stay away from them at all costs.
Instead, spend time with Jesus and in God’s Word. Listen to worship music. Speak in tongues. As Philippians 4:7 says, true peace is only found through Jesus Christ. Anything else is just a dangerous imitation.
4. Remember who you are.
Very few of us are called to be political commentators. Yet, too many believers act like social media is their place to fulfill their true calling to be the next Rush Limbaugh.
But that isn’t your true calling. Instead, as a follower of Jesus, your true identity and calling are to be a representative of Jesus Christ. You are called to be a light in a dark world that draws people to Jesus. A million times more important than advancing any political agenda is advancing God’s kingdom and inviting people to have a personal relationship with Him.
One of the questions I believe we need to ask ourselves before we enter the fray is, “What are the eternal consequences?”
Will my conversation draw people to Jesus, defend a fundamental Biblical truth, or make a difference in someone’s eternal soul?
If not, then why am I wasting my time and emotional energy?
What about my tone?
Does it draw people to Jesus or make them think, “I don’t want anything to do with Him”?
Is our social media presence helping or hindering our witness?
I truly believe that choosing to walk in our calling rather than getting down and dirty over every little disagreement that arises will help us maintain our peace.
As the saying goes, “Will it matter 1000 years from now? Then it doesn’t matter now.”
Why let it steal your peace?
5. Remember Who Is In Contol
John 14: 22 says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Trust me when I say that I understand the feeling that the world is out of control. However, it really isn’t. God is in control of the world. Everything that is happening is part of His plan.
He isn’t surprised by what’s going on. He knows things are going to get worse and worse until we ultimately live out the book of Revelations. (Or go in the rapture.)
The end of the story is already written. This truth can give us the peace to let God run the world while we fulfill our God-given calling.
Yes, sometimes, this will mean speaking out on fundamental issues that have eternal value.
Other times it will mean letting some things go and walking away from unimportant arguments, and focusing on what really matters: loving Jesus, serving Jesus, and leading other people to Him.
Spoiler alert: People will be more drawn to people who have this confident hope than to people who are always panicked, frenzied, angry, and out of control.
Peace is actually a draw.
People crave it, and when they see it in you, they want to know where you’ve found it.
This opens the door for you to say, “Let me tell you about Jesus.”
That is who you are called to be and how you are called to live.
Even more than finding tranquility in our own lives, this should motivate us to obey the words of Psalm 34:14: "Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it."
Essentially: Choose Peace. Trust me, You'll enjoy it!
Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.
When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry.