My sister, Carol Hardman, died unexpectedly on December 20, 2009. My heart is heavy for her husband and three children. To bury my mother and sister in a period of five months is surreal. My prayer is that my family will live in peace, and my sister will rest in peace.
What I am sharing in this article is heartfelt from personal experience of how to live in peace regardless of circumstances. To be totally honest, I am still a work in progress.
It does not matter what you story is. Don’t allow yourself to live in a spirit of unforgiveness. The acid destroys the container quicker that it will touch the person who has wronged you.
2. Grieve Well.
There is a difference between healthy grief and unhealthy grief. I saw my grandmother grieve over my grandfather for years and years. My grandmother chose to live in a spirit of grief, which is not healthy. Whether you are grieving the loss of a loved one, job, or your home, do not be consumed with a spirit of grief.
3. Serve Others.
In the past two weeks our small church, Harmony United Methodist, has been affected by seven deaths. I have tried to focus my thoughts on comforting these families rather then my own grief. Make your pain someone else’s gain.
4. Walk in Love
As I look back on my 2009, the most powerful thing we can do in order to rest our heads at night is to walk in a spirit in love.
5. Manage Your Emotions
The mark of a truly mature person is to harness your emotions regardless of how you feel. Our feelings are fickle and will play tricks on us. Un-harnessed emotions make us say and do things we regret. My mother always said, “Words never spoken are words never regretted.”
6. Speak the Truth in Love
Many people enjoy “grand-standing” while others act out in ungodly ways. As Christians, we should prayerfully ask the Lord to quicken out hearts if we are to confront. Sadly, more people enjoy watching and gossiping about others’ behavior in order to lessen their own troubles. My husband, Thomas has wisely said, “Anyone is entitled to his or her opinion but no one is entitled to distort the facts.”
7. Confront the Source
There is a story about a village in a remote section of Africa. Many of the villagers became extremely sick and died. The source of the sickness came from the water that ran into the village from the top of the mountain. For several days, a group of villagers hiked to the top of the mountain to discover a wild boar had died in the stream contaminating the water supply. This was the source of the poison that destroyed many lives. When poison is spewed from the mouth, instead of talking and spreading the venom, approach the source. Cowards cower in darkness.
8. Accept Unanswered Answers
One of the wisest comments I ever heard was made by a friend of mine commenting on problems in life. He simply said, “Sometimes there are no answers. Believe me, this statement will save you thousands of dollars in therapy.”
9. Let God Be your Vindicator
Many times your best defense is silence. In the complex world we live in, the only true vindication comes from the hand of God. Let him be your quarterback.
10. The Mystery
This is the most powerful principle of them all. This is the most difficult of all the tasks. Yet, it is simple in verbiage …….The choice is yours; it is all up to you.