1 Peter 3:10-12
English Standard Version
For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
Being in the middle of life changes things. My mind wanders between what once was and what is to come. I see love as beauty like I never have in my past. I also see hate and selfishness the same way. I used to see women older than me, and wonder what their secret was to the grace and dignity they wore. Like a jewel, their beautiful inner gem would shine and sparkle to all they met.
I longed to be that woman when lost in bipolar. Depression is dark; nothing shines from it. Mania is a cycle of dangerous and self-seeking behaviors for me (aka idolatry, sinful). My thoughts and choices are selfish, and my words sharp. Neither represented the person I desperately wanted to be.
Our mindset is critical to joy. Too often we run our mouths foolishly and speak without pause. We disrupt harmony and peace by believing our opinion is more important. The worst mentality is the one that says, “I have the right to say what I want”. Our current state of affairs proves this to be true. If we took a few moments to consider our words wisely, or to determine if our words are necessary at all, we would change things. Most importantly, we would change ourselves.
When we pursue peace in our mind and heart, many of the negative traits we’ve grown attached to will evolve. When we keep God in our center and be mindful of His presence when we think and speak, all other responses will come from love.
We will love ourselves and others with great appreciation. Joy comes from internal peace and love that God himself provides. It is the deep, deep confidence that all is well between us and our Almighty. Unhappiness, anger, fear, and other negative feelings of this world sink. They are not able to swim against the current of God’s flowing love.
Stay vigilant in prayer and seek His righteousness for your life. You will find joy when you ask and seek God above all else.