“They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.”
– 1 Peter 3:11
Yesterday, I shared that trusting your life and death to Jesus is the only way you can truly have a relaxed and peaceful life. Today, I want to touch on a few other ways you can ensure that you cultivate serenity in your heart and mind, but I’m going to take a less conventional approach.
Charlie Munger is one of my favorite people in the whole world. If you don’t know who he is, he is the ying to Warren Buffet’s yang; together, they run Berkshire Hathaway. As an oft-featured graduation speaker, he tells students that the great teachers of the world invert. Now what that means is that instead of teaching people how to be rich, for instance, they teach them how to be poor. I’m going to use the same analogy to teach you not how to be peaceful, but how to be wretched and miserable, while giving you steps to destroy the serenity in your life. Are you ready? First of all, if you want to have no peace, always dwell on the opinions of others. Learn that what other people think and say is the most important thing, and make sure your reputation is well-managed. Next, don’t let go of offenses, especially the ones that come from people you’ve never met. If someone randomly says something about you, be sure to take it to heart because it’s probably true. Thirdly, be sure to control people — control your kids, your spouse, and your friends. If they get out of control, just try harder. Fourth, be perfect, all the time — look perfect, sound perfect, be perfectly religious, and make sure everything you do is perfect. Fifth, never be present, always be somewhere else. If you’re here, make sure you’re texting or emailing, and if you’re there, definitely be thinking about tomorrow and making other plans, but never focus on the person you’re with. Finally, and this is the most important, remember that you are what you do and what you have. Do really amazing stuff, make sure that everybody knows about it, and have the nicest things and show them off to as many people as possible. Follow these steps continually and I promise, you will never have serenity and peace in your heart again!
Friend, my hope is that you’re smiling as you read these bogus suggestions, but I pray my point is well-taken. Disregard the steps above and know that the best way to enjoy the gift of serenity in your life is to focus less on other people, less on possessions, less on accomplishments, and more on your relationships with God and others. Live your life for an audience of One (the One who made you) and allow Him to use you to bless and impact people in the world around you. Walk hand-in-hand with Jesus, make Him your greatest desire, and know that He will always be enough!
Thank you, Jesus, for being the source of my peace and serenity. Renew my mind and help me to keep my eyes fixed on you.
Of the steps that destroy serenity in the text above, which one do you most identify with? Take a moment to lift that struggle up to God.