Peace Taker #6- Refusing to Forgive Others, Part 1 (TMF:680)

Peace to Live By: Peace Taker #6- Refusing to Forgive Others, Part 1 (TMF:680) - Daniel Litton
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       Now, number six in looking at things that take away our peace: Refusing to forgive others their wrongs. “If you are angry, don’t sin by nursing your grudge. Don’t let the sun go down with you still angry—get over it quickly; for when you are angry, you give a mighty foothold to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26, 27, TLB). It is good and important that, when we can, we need to let offenses go as quickly as they came. It is a good thing when we are not be offended by something that someone does against us. Sometimes it’s hard to do, but later on it is definitely worth it. If we are too critical of others' behavior, it will make growing closer to people more difficult. We should not be quick to judge and find fault with others. Now sometimes people will offend us in larger and bigger ways, and we may have to deal with that offense by talking one-on-one with the person. But most offenses don’t even need to be mentioned, if we are having a right attitude toward others behavior in this area. When we won’t let an offense go—whether big or small—and continually go over it our minds when we think of the person, that allows Satan to gain a foothold in our minds. This, in turn, takes away our peace.

Peace Taker #5- Wanting to Know It All, Part 3 (TMF:679)

Peace to Live By: Peace Taker #5- Wanting to Know It All, Part 3 (TMF:679) - Daniel Litton
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       We know that typically the more we learn about—the more knowledge we increase—the more the possibilities of things to worry about or be afraid of. Yeah, it is nice to learn and have a greater knowledge database in our minds, but it doesn’t come free, but rather with a price. Some people want to know everything they can, but becoming a ‘know-it-all’ can actually remove peace from our lives. This can be especially true when we seek to learn things about other people, or problems other people may be facing, all the while not really needing to know that information. Sometimes other people's problems, the one’s we have no capacity to help others with, can actually reduce the peace in our minds. What good is it for us to learn about things in life that will cause us to worry, of which we have no control over? Learning about more things to be concerned about doesn’t help us cultivate our peaceful mindset. It is good to turn away from hearing more information about something if we really don’t need to know that information (see John 21:20-22 & 1 Thessalonians 4:11).

Peace Taker #5- Wanting to Know It All, Part 2 (TMF:678)

Peace to Live By: Peace Taker #5- Wanting to Know It All, Part 2 (TMF:678) - Daniel Litton
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       On my days off of work, my weekend, for instance, I almost always don’t watch or read any news. That’s because I’ve heard plenty during my work week, and want to give my mind a break and a rest. If we do things like this in our lives, we can increase our peace of mind and lower any unnecessary distress. Many of us today try to gain more and more knowledge, whether intellectual knowledge or just knowledge about our surroundings. And it is true that, at least for some of us, it is actually fun to learn more and more. But for those of us who continually study things, we know that typically the more we learn about—the more knowledge we increase—the more the possibilities of things to worry about or be afraid of. Yeah, it is nice to learn and have a greater knowledge database in our minds, but it doesn’t come free, but rather with a price. Some people want to know everything they can, but becoming a ‘know-it-all’ can actually remove peace from our lives.

Peace Taker #5- Wanting to Know It All, Part 1 (TMF:677)

Peace to Live By: Peace Taker #5- Wanting to Know It All, Part 1 (TMF:677) - Daniel Litton
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       Number five in looking at things that take away our peace: Wanting to know about everything possible. “I said to myself, “Look, I am better educated than any of the kings before me in Jerusalem. I have greater wisdom and knowledge.” So I worked hard to be wise instead of foolish—but now I realize that even this was like chasing the wind. For the more my wisdom, the more my grief; to increase knowledge only increases distress” (Ecclesiastes 1:17, 18, TLB). In our day of the Internet, there is knowledge everywhere we turn when we’re on our computers and mobile devices. It isn’t always good to know everything that you possibly can, whether it be about the world or about our own circles of friends, family, or coworkers. Sometimes a lack of knowledge about things is in fact good. This is because the more we know, the more we can become grieved or worried in our minds. And being sorrowful and worrying about things takes away our peace.

Peace Taker #4- Our God-given Position? Part 2 (TMF:676)

Peace to Live By: Peace Taker #4- Our God-given Position? Part 2 (TMF:676) - Daniel Litton
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       A lot of people are content in being normal, average individuals in life. And it is also true that God has called certain individuals to a higher calling, to a more work-driven and less leisure type of life. Some people he has given a higher drive than the norm. Remember the Parable of the Talents in Matthew chapter 25? In the parable, Jesus gave one person five talents, another two, and still another just one talent. Therefore, the parable shows us that God has different expectations based on what he has equipped us to do. The person who only has one talent should not be discontent with that fact. Likewise, the one who has five talents should not think the people given with less to be lazy or undedicated. So, accepting our position in Christ, what he expects from us and has gifted us to do, will give us peace of mind and make us happy.

Peace Taker #4- Our God-given Position? Part 1 (TMF:675)

Peace to Live By: Peace Taker #4- Our God-given Position? Part 1 (TMF:675) - Daniel Litton
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       Number four:Not accepting our God-given position in life. “All things are decided by fate; it was known long ago what each man would be. So there’s no use arguing with God about your destiny” (Ecclesiastes 6:10, TLB). God has given us our position in life, and we should accept it and not be comparing ourselves with others. Most of us are normal, average individuals that God has called to do a variety of tasks. We all have been gifted in different ways, with varying talents and abilities. When we accept our position in life, that gives us peace and freedom to go about doing what we should to be doing, our work, with joy. But when we don’t accept our position, we find that we don’t enjoy our work and we become discontent on a daily basis. We find ourselves wanting to be someone whom we are not. It’s not possible for us to be discontent and yet living happy, peaceful lives in Christ.

Peace Taker #3- Recalling Negative Events, Part 2 (TMF:674)

Peace to Live By: Peace Taker #3- Recalling Negative Events, Part 2 (TMF:674) - Daniel Litton
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       We should not be thinking about things that just cause us to relive through the hurt and give us negative emotions. Instead, we should focus on positive things from our past, and think about the good things that have happened. Just because we may have had experiences in our past that were negative does not mean that the future will then be negative. Not all of the past in our lives has been negative. I can guarantee you, if you’ll think about it, that there are many good things from the past you can recall to give you faith for the future. You shouldn't cultivate a negative view of the past when not everything has been negative. Think about the positive things that you have experienced, and be sure that God has more positive things for you in the future. For many of us, we have got to work to get rid of more negativism from our minds. Just because things may look grim, to you, for the future, or the mere fact that you don’t know what God has in store for you, this does not mean you have to think negatively.

Peace Taker #3- Recalling Negative Events, Part 1 (TMF:673)

Peace to Live By: Peace Taker #3- Recalling Negative Events, Part 1 (TMF:673) - Daniel Litton
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       A lot of us think too much about negative past events as well. It may not be something you did wrong, but something may have happened that was negative and upsetting. It may have even been something that someone else or others did that hurt us. Nevertheless, we cannot be cultivating more peace in our minds if we are reminiscing about these things from time to time. But someone might say, “Doesn’t everybody do that?” Perhaps to some degree, but we don’t have to. Indeed, we should not be thinking about things that just cause us to relive through the hurt and give us negative emotions. Instead, we should focus on positive things from our past, and think about the good things that have happened. Just because we may have had experiences in our past that were negative does not mean that the future will then be negative. Not all of the past in our lives has been negative. I can guarantee you, if you’ll think about it, that there are many good things from the past you can recall to give you faith for the future. You shouldn't cultivate a negative view of the past when not everything has been negative. Think about the positive things that you have experienced, and be sure that God has more positive things for you in the future.

Peace Taker #3- Recalling Past Sins (TMF:672)

Peace to Live By: Peace Taker #3- Recalling Past Sins (TMF:672) - Daniel Litton
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       Number three: Recalling past sins and negative events. “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13, 14, ESV). I’ve talked about in the past how some people have created cemeteries in their minds of bad things that have happened in the past. They recall their past sins and memorialize them in their minds, like tombstones in a cemetery. But this, of course, only works to torment ourselves, and definitely takes away peace in our minds. Thinking about a past sin committed doesn’t do any good. It doesn’t make the sin go away—quite the opposite—it keeps it alive. God tells us in Hebrews: “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12, ESV). If God doesn’t even remember our sins, then why should we? If our minds are always stuck in the past, then we cannot enjoy our ‘now’ time and even enjoy the future. Thinking about past sins will cause negativity to develop in our minds, and that surely work to make us miserable.

Peace Taker #2- Past Better than Present? Part 2 (TMF:671)

Peace to Live By: Peace Taker #2- Past Better than Present? Part 2 (TMF:671) - Daniel Litton
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       We should enjoy the present time—our current ‘now’ time. There are always troubles in any given day, but we need to enjoy life the best we can. We should enjoy our jobs, our work, and enjoy eating our meals; this makes us happy. Every day that God has given us is a gift, and if we see each day—each time slot we have—as a gift, we can then enjoy it. A lot of people, for instance, like to wish away their work week. They are always looking forward to the weekend at the expense of the present. There’s nothing wrong with looking forward for the weekend to come, but we shouldn’t view each of our workdays as undesirable and not enjoy them. Try to enjoy the present. Squeeze all you can out of the present time, making the most of it. Sure it may not be as good and fun as the weekend, but it’s still a time that can be enjoyed.