Shalom is the Hebrew word for peace and it is how we would be greeted if we landed in Israel. Peace is not the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of that region of the world. And this word Shalom is in no way a cheap, temporary cease-fire kind of peace; No, this peace is a deep rich, all encompassing, perfect, safe, whole, well, satisfying, and prospering state of being. This peace is paramount with living in harmony with God. “Shalom-Peace”, is a beautiful way to greet people both coming and going.
Everywhere we look there seems to be a lack of peace. Between parents and children, spouses, siblings, political parties, friends, neighbors there seems to be an overabundance of conflict, strive, animosity and disregard for each other. Where does all this antagonism come from? In the Bible, in James 4:1-3, the root causes of fights and quarrels are addressed and it says,

“Don’t they (fights and quarrels) come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you can’t have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You don’t have because you don’t ask God. When you ask, you do not receive because you ask for the wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
We want peace, but why do we want peace? Do we want peace for us at the expense of them? What are our motives for wanting peace? So no one bothers us? So we can shop more? What does God want our motives for peace to be? Is God satisfied with a mere absence of outer conflict in our lives? Or does God want to cover all brokenness in his blanket of complete Shalom? Our peace need not be at the expense of another person’s peace. In the Book of Micah our motives are spelled out clearly,
“He (the Lord) has shown you, O mortal, what is good. To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

This November let us pray for God to purify our motives so that they are realigned with God’s motives. May justice for all and mercy for all in complete humility become our motive for requesting peace in our hearts and all our relationships and may God’s perfect peace be reflected in a joy-filled life that surprised all who see us and they walk away amazed by God’s Goodness.

Father, You are the only Source of Peace. May we seek it no where else. Amen.