Spiritual Growth

Value Peace More Than Possessions

We all face moments when we have to remind ourselves that peace is much more important than temporal possessions. The richest man who ever lived knew the secret to a rich life.

A friend was kind to share one of her reading plans with me. I’ve loved every word and thought explained in the short 12-day plan called “Stepping Stones To Shalom” you can easily find on your Bible app.

Every word the author of this plan shares is so on point that it would be selfish of me not to share its powerful message with you.

Here it is. Every word.

Better Peace than Possessions

I have a friend who made a living building custom luxury homes and then selling them. In between the time that the houses were built and sold, my friend and his family would live in them. This was a practical decision that saved the family much needed money.

I once asked his wife if she enjoyed this byproduct of her husband’s business. She said, “You know what? I have lived in simple homes and in luxury homes and this is what I’ve learned: When you close your eyes at night to go to sleep, they are all exactly the same!”

It dawned on me that we don’t really live in our homes; we reside in our bodies. Our house can be simple and humble or elegant and luxurious, but at the end of the day, none of that dictates how we feel. We live in our bodies; how we think, what we believe, and whether or not we have shalom is what determines how we feel when we close our eyes at night. 

Our bodies are with us all day and all night; they are our true abode. What we place in our heads and hearts is far more important than the stuff we have in our homes.

This is what King Solomon meant in Proverbs when he wrote: “Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife”  (17:1). It’s better to possess little but live with peace and quiet than to attain all that there is to have but live in a state of turmoil. The Jewish sages taught that this rings true in regards to our actual homes – they need not be lavish, but need to be peaceful – and it is also true for our very beings – we don’t need a lot, but we need peace of mind to be happy.

Our generation is in need of this wisdom more than any other. Ironically, because we have the ability to have more material things, we stand the risk of being less happy than previous generations. In fact studies have shown that our generation is more melancholy than ones before us who lived with less. 

Moreover, studies have indicated that people in countries with the highest standard of living did not correlate with the happiest people. In fact, sometimes counties with far less at their disposable had some of the most joyful people in the world.

King Solomon’s words are a good reminder that peace of mind is more satisfying than anything that we put in our stomach. Good relationships with our loved ones is far greater than anything that money can buy. Everyone wants to find happiness, but only some will look in the right places.

Stepping Stone 4: Value peace more than possessions. Sometimes, even without knowing it, we sacrifice peace for the sake of things. For example, we might buy something that we can’t afford. Or in extreme cases, people might sacrifice close relationships over menial disagreements involving material possessions. If we are to live with shalom, we must truly understand that it is truly worth more than anything money can buy. 

Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.

Proverbs 17:1

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