The fruit (singular) of the Spirit is love, joy, and peace. These all work together in our lives to reflect the life of Christ through us. Love produces joy and peace. Knowing we are accepted and secure (peace with God) is the source of the peace of God in our hearts. Peace comes from knowing that God loves you and he is in control of your life.
One form of fake peace is apathy. The Christian who looks peaceful may simply just not care. But this indifference is just another form of selfishness. Comfort can be another form of fake peace. The failure to pursue peace can look like peace. But this is just valuing comfort over conflict. The indwelling life of Christ will never pursue comfort at the expense of a relationship. Remember, Christ sacrificed everything to bring peace. Peace with God, and peace with others. You can’t say you are living from the Spirit if you won’t work for peace with others.
The opposite of peace is worry. When we are unsure of our acceptance and security in Christ we worry, and then we seek comfort in a bunch of things that aren’t Jesus- like busyness. Busyness (or the at least the claim thereof) is a way to feel acceptable in our modern age. If you’re not busy, then what are you doing with your life? But this mindset steals our peace. If peace is resting in the knowledge that God loves you and is control of your life, then constant busyness, or feeling like you need to claim busyness, may indicate a lack of this rest.
Jesus lived his life in peace, and he was a giver of peace.
John 14:27. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
The peace Jesus gave was not the world’s peace. It is not the peace of law keeping. In fact law keeping can never ever produce peace, it can only produce doubt. Only Christ can give real and lasting peace. And, if you remember the rest of John 14, that peace comes from his presence in the person of the Spirit. The Spirit of Christ is my proof of love and safety. He is my joy and peace.
“To live is Christ” is to live free from fear, doubt, and worry. In Christ there is nothing to dread. We no longer need to find peace in our situations and circumstances. We no longer need to live between comfort and busyness, constantly seeking proof that our life “works.” The peace that Christ gives is his own personal peace. It is an objective reality. It is his peace with God that is now ours. It is his favor. His eternal security. His peace is our peace.
Where do you see yourself exhibiting apathy, comfort seeking, or busyness as a form of false peace? Is your peace in life the peace of Jesus? Do you see yourself increasingly living from the peace of God’s acceptance and sovereignty? Are your relationships peaceful and not just absent of conflict (yes there’s a difference)?