Principles of Peace

Principles of Peace

a pine forest in shades of gray with colorful words saying "Principles of Peace" for Emmanuel blog

“Nobody can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

We’d all like a little more peace in our lives, wouldn’t we?

Okay, true, we sometimes equate peace with quiet. I know I do. Ah, sweet silence.

That’s not what Emerson is getting at here, though. He’s saying that we are each in charge of our own destiny, that we control our own peace. Basically, if you stand by your principles against all the temptations to do otherwise, you will have peace.

It sounds good on the surface. We like to think that we’re in control of our own lives. Those are the kinds of thoughts that feed our ego, inflate our pride, and make us walk with a little extra I’m-all-that swagger.

There’s a fundamental flaw with Emerson’s logic, though. We can’t actually bring ourselves peace. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been inside my own head. Without the peace of Christ in me, it would be total chaos in there. Thoughts buzzing here and there like a colony of bees without their hive. Emotions splatting against every surface like buckets of mismatched paint being thrown by a caffeinated toddler. Wants bouncing around like those little rubber balls from the dispenser at the grocery store – not the cheap 25c ones, either. Nope. I’m talking the mega-super-duper-bouncy 50-centers.

So, I’m not capable of peace on my own. But that’s circumstantial evidence that falls pretty far this side of subjective.

What does the objective evidence say? Take a look with me at Philippians 4. Verses 6 tells us not to be anxious about anything but, rather, to make our requests known to God in prayer. When we do that, what happens? “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (v 7).

My inner teenager wants to yell, “Mic drop!”

That’s not all, though. In verse 8, we’re told to think about what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, or worthy of praise and that (according to verse 9) as we practice those things we have learned, the God of peace will be with us. I would argue that, in light of Philippians as a whole, every single descriptor used in verse 8 is about Christ. Jesus Christ is true. Jesus Christ is honorable. Jesus Christ is just. Jesus Christ is pure. Jesus Christ is lovely. Jesus Christ is commendable. Jesus Christ is excellent. Jesus Christ is worthy of praise.

And it is only in Christ that all those beautiful words in verse 8 can apply to us in any kind of real way. It is through the power of Christ that we reflect Christ and grow in Christlikeness. And as we do that – as we think about those things (v 8) and as we practice those things (v 9), the God of peace is with us.

How does this relate to Ralph Waldo Emerson and the triumph of principles? The only principles worth having come from Christ, and the only way to hold fast to those principles is in Christ. We cannot bring peace to ourselves because, apart from Christ, our principles are dictated by the whims of the flesh, and our ability to hold fast to them only lasts until we’re persuaded that something else is better.

In Christ, though? As we walk in the Kingdom and live for Christ, we can be partakers of the peace that surpasses all understanding.

Don’t be fooled by the cheap imitations of peace that this world offers. Lasting peace – real peace – can be found only in Christ.


    Ruthann Barton

    Thank You! Peace comes from God not ourselves! Good Grief, if I was the source of my own peace I wouldn’t have any at all! Without Christ we are dead in our trespasses and sins and that is not peace! Praise God that He sent His One and Only Son to die on the cross for all who believe because In Christ, we have everything we need, including peace. Amen?

    mano mathai

    Peace is tranquility, serenity, calmness. Peace is absence of fear, worry, stress. Is it possible to find peace on your own is the question.
    Nobody can bring you peace but you can get it for yourself from the Prince of Peace. Nothing can bring you peace, not your principled life or sincere work or unselfish service. Peace is free for the asking if you know the one and only source of Peace.


    By President John F. Kennedy
    “What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children–not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women–not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.”
    Kennedy wanted a peaceful time for the nation and the world. America admired his speech.
    Now let us look into peace for the Christian, as stated in the Bible.
    Lord specifically wants to give us three different kinds of peace.
    • Peace with God. This is spiritual peace — and it’s the most important. It affects everything else. …
    • Peace within. The Bible has a word for this: emotional peace. …
    • Peace with others. Then the Lord offers relational peace.

    I will write about peace with God. This happens when we recognize our creator God in Genesis and how Christ secured salvation for the believer. I am an immigrant from India who grew up in a Christian family. I noticed one thing about many Indian Christian men, later in their lives, having doubts about their eternal life. They were counting on their good works to get to heaven, but not sure if they have earned sufficient points to please God. Their church failed them. They were using liturgy and traditions as substitutes for solid Bible teaching. They were not taught Christ secured their salvation through His death and resurrection. All they have to do was believe in the finished work of Christ on the cross (John 3:16). I also know some denominations do not believe in eternal security. (That is a discussion for another day.)

    Now many senior citizens, including myself, discuss our sleep patterns. Many have problems getting seven or eight hours of sleep every night. There may be physiological, mental or spiritual issues. Seek help, if appropriate. One suggestion I make is to have a calm spirit before going to bed at night.
    How to have a calm spirit?
    Read the Bible, pray and meditate.
    The following Bible passages will certainly help. I have only shown a few selected passages.
    -Lord’s prayer
    -Psalm 23
    -Psalm 4. “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
    -Psalm 46:10. “Be Still and Know That I Am God.”
    -Book of Philippians (a very comforting epistle).
    -Finally, the entire New Testament itself.

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