When You Don’t Have Peace About “It”

This is one of my first blog posts, and still one of my favorites. I updated it a bit today. This is a message we have to be reminded of often.

Christian Cliché #23

“I just don’t have peace about this.”

Interesting, isn’t it? This simple line can get people out of a previous commitment, a job, a move, a college, and even a relationship.

But where is the concept of peace as a guiding principle given in Scripture?

Did Esther have peace about going before the King? What about Jonah going to Nineveh? Daniel probably had little peace about becoming an afternoon snack for hungry lions. The three Hebrew boys probably weren’t singing “Peace Like a River” when they chose to burn rather than bow. What about Stephen? Or Paul during his many trials? Perhaps the best example is Christ, himself. He did not wait for peace when He prayed, “Not my will, but thine be done.”

If any of these people had waited to act until they were overcome with peace, we would not know their names today.

Sadly, the concept of “peace” is regularly abused as a Christian copout. When in reality Peace is not given for guidance in Scripture, but for comfort to those who place their faith in God. (Psalm 119:165; Isaiah 26:3; Rom 5:1; Philippians 4:6-8).

Bottom line: Peace is a product of trusting God.

Peace is not to be uses as a “decision maker,” but rather is the result of being in God’s will. In Scripture, peace always comes after obedience, not before.

Have you ever seen the “peace principle” abused?

Comments

  1. Excellent post Noah! Great thoughts on a very misused principle. I wish more young people would understand this truth. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I love this post! Often I have been frustrated with counselling when people use this statement, but I have never had any thoughts on how to help them. Thanks for posting this!

  3. Noah Lomax says:

    Matt and Joel,

    Thanks for the great comments! In the years that I’ve worked with students I’ve always been uneasy about the statement. Then it hit me why: It’s not in Scripture!

    Thanks for reading and sharing this post, but thank you more for your personal ministries!

    Noah

  4. Great choice of examples, and very well put. Sometimes the hardest choices are the LEAST peaceful. Keep up the great work you’re doing!

  5. Dustin B. says:

    Have you ever read “Just Do Something” by Kevin DeYoung? Fabulous, theologically rich, easy-to-read book. Check it out!

    • Noah Lomax says:

      Dustin,

      Just Do Something is and excellent book! I love how he de-mystifies the quest for finding God’s will. I actually am contacting the author today to see if I can promote it on my blog.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Noah

  6. Noah, Agreed!

    Check this out: http://seeingclearly.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/i-dont-have-peace-about-it/

    It’s basically a long quote by Stuart Scott (not the Sportscenter phenom, you know the one who says, “En fuego!” and “He has left the building” and “Boya Grandma!” Not him. Stuart Scott, the biblical counselor).

    • Noah Lomax says:

      Dave,

      That is right on the money! I enjoy Stuart Scott’s books. I will definitely look into that one!

      Thanks for the great article and for commenting!

      Noah

  7. I’ve disliked the phrase for years also–maybe because I’m more analytical than anything. I never could understand why a decision could or would be based on something so subjective as “peace.”

    It seems that our “lack of peace” is hiding a reason either we don’t want to verbalize (to a specific person or even ourselves), or we really haven’t quite figured out why we should or shouldn’t make the decision yet.

    For example, sometimes we have a sense that a situation might not be best for us, but either we haven’t taken the time to figure out why or we don’t want to verbalize those reasons. You see this all the time in relationship break-ups—“I don’t have ‘peace’ about you.” If the person’s really honest, there’s probably a host of actual reasons, he or she doesn’t want to pursue the relationship, but maybe the person doesn’t want to actually verbalize the reasons (or at least not to that person.) Maybe they’re afraid that they will look selfish or maybe they’re afraid that it’ll just hurt the other person more, but either way, pulling out the “no peace” card often just shuts the conversation down.

    Yes, I agree; by equating the phrase with “God’s Will” and frequently coupling it with that thought, we essentially create a sacred aura about a decision that we might not want to (or can’t) justify biblically or logically to others.

    • Noah Lomax says:

      Nomes,

      I believe you are right on the money! The lack of peace is probably more often an unwillingness to verbalize a list of known reasons (whether legitimate or otherwise). While this may be the easy and non-offensive way to let someone down, it certainly does nothing for their personal growth.

      Thank you for your excellent thoughts!

      Noah

  8. Stephanie & I were just discussing this a few weeks back. Using the “peace card” may sound like a spiritual answer, but is it Biblical? Since when did how we feel about a situation become the greatest determining factor of how we react to it?

    I believe that God gave us so many principles about wisdom in the Bible so that we would be able to look at the options in front of us and, in most cases, make a decision based on what we know to be wise and honoring to Him, not necessarily how we feel.

  9. Thanks for actually directing it to people who were making decisions without that complete peace and certainty but trusting God to be faithful and proclaim it in the midst of difficulty.  

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