On a Scale from 1 to 10 …

It was a simple question: On a scale from 1 to 10, how peaceful are you today? Responses trickled in slowly through social media platforms with some choosing to share with me privately. Those at peace posted a 9 or 10, while a few other courageous souls openly admitted to the chaos swirling in their spirits. I’m guessing hundreds of others read the question and then merely documented their responses mentally.  

Whether you’re a believer in Jesus or not, it’s hard these days to witness the meanness in the world and remain calm. Maybe, like me, you’re tempted at times to give others a piece of your mind rather than sharing the peace of Jesus. 

Of all the passages that could have spoken to me about peace, Revelation 6 shouted loudest near the end of 2021. (Revelation is not usually the book we turn to when we think of peace, but this one struck a chord of discord.) 

“When the Lamb broke the second seal, I heard the second living being say, ‘Come!’ Then another horse appeared, a red one. Its rider was given a mighty sword and the authority to take peace from the earth. And there was war and slaughter everywhere.” (Revelation 6:3-4, NLT)

Yes, I did bog down for a bit in whether Revelation is prophetic or historical, who the rider was, and why a red horse, but then the Spirit whispered in my heart, “Look at it again.” So, I did. And there was my takeaway! Satan doesn’t need to bring war and slaughter to be effective. All he has to do is take away our peace!

Perhaps, chaos swirls around us like Kansas winds because Satan has blown peace away from so many of us who should be the peacemakers. It’s the church’s mission to present a clear picture of the Prince of Peace to the world, and then allow the Holy Spirit do His job. “And when he [the Holy Spirit] comes, HE will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.” (John 16:8, NLT, emphasis mine)

Why are we (me) so drawn to taking the easy route? It’s easy to criticize and complain about things we don’t approve of or don’t take the time to understand. We quickly mount our high horses and charge right into the fray with our high-and-mighty swords flashing. Without realizing it, we trample peace into the dust. Since we all want to live in a kinder place, some of us try to piously blaze a shortcut to finding a more peaceful world. 

Let’s do the hard thing, and flip the map around. If we place our finger on “Peaceful World” and trace the path backward, we run headlong into “Peace with Others.” From there the trail leads us back to an uncomfortable place, “Peace with Ourselves.” Eventually, we land on the spot where all of our expeditions must begin: “Peace with God.”

The hardest roads lead us on the grandest adventures. If we travel them patiently, we grow in knowledge, wisdom and understanding – about God, ourselves, and others. That’s when we find true peace. We will still be surrounded by the fray, but we can triumphantly step down from our high horses and look our adversary in the eye because we know that the One who lives in us is greater than the one who lives in the world.  We can boldly declare, “Not today, Satan!” If we have to get testy, let’s get testy with our real enemy! 

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be traveling Peace Road. I hope you’ll invite those who don’t know the Peace Giver, or those who are struggling with all the chaos, to come along. God’s packed lots for our journey, but it’s most beneficial when we unpack it together.

So, my friend, on a scale of 1 to 10, how peaceful are you today?

Here’s a little something for your journey this week:

“Our faith in Jesus transfers God’s righteousness to us and he now declares us flawless in his eyes.  This means we can now enjoy true and lasting peace with God, all because of what our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, has done for us. Our faith guarantees us permanent access into this marvelous kindness that has given us a perfect relationship with God. What incredible joy bursts forth within us as we keep on celebrating our hope of experiencing God’s glory!” (Romans 5:1-2, TPT)

Posted in
a sunset with text saying ON A SCALE FROM 1 TO 10

Donna Jackson

How Can Anxious Be a Good Word?

By Donna Jackson | October 3, 2023 |

Learning a new language can be frustrating and quite time-consuming. I remember going on a mission trip to Guatemala many years ago and trying to communicate with only a few Spanish words in my vocabulary. The mistakes I made brought belly laughs to those who spoke the language fluently. However, it was the dentist on…

Justice for the Bad Guy

By Donna Jackson | August 22, 2023

Sometimes I can’t help myself; I want the bad guy to get what he deserves. I watched an old TV police show a few days ago. The bad guy was a serial killer who had been methodically killing young women. After the authorities zeroed in on him, he was literally trapped between a rock and…

Seeking God’s Fire

By Donna Jackson | August 15, 2023

When God Takes Us Back to School

By Donna Jackson | August 8, 2023

There’s an air of anticipation wrapped around a new school year. Elementary kids grin with excitement over new scissors, glue, markers, and folders stuffed inside new backpacks. Middle schoolers spend time searching out the latest logos on shirts and shoes. High school students look forward to being back with their friends and finding out who…

You Are Not the Only One

By Donna Jackson | July 25, 2023

It’s easy to think our whole world has gone haywire and turned its back on God. On our weakest days, we think there is absolutely nothing we can do about the decline. And then … God, who knows our hearts, drops bits of encouragement in front of us to help us remember that we are…

Shifting Our Perspective

By Donna Jackson | July 18, 2023

Our eleven-month old grandson Chapel, whom I affectionately refer to as Chappy, finally put his hands and knees in motion. The first time we held him, like all babies, he couldn’t do much. He can now successfully crawl from one chair to another and pull himself up. In no time at all, he will be…

Changing Our View of Marriage

By Donna Jackson | July 11, 2023

Most who enter into marriage make the same kind of tenacious promise; leaving will never be an option. Yet, we’ve all been touched by or acquainted with those who finally succumbed to frustrations, temptations, or difficult circumstances and chose to to walk away. They gave in and gave up.  Hopefully, we also know those who…

Nothing Left to Lose

By Donna Jackson | July 4, 2023

Kris Kristofferson co-wrote it. Roger Miller first recorded it. Then versions by Gordon Lightfoot, Charlie Pride, Kenny Rogers, and numerous others were released. But, it was Janis Joplin who made it famous.  Just as the counter-cultural, free-loving, drug-experimenting sixties was giving way to a new decade with troubles of its own, “Me and Bobby McGee”…

No Good Reason to Love

By Donna Jackson | June 27, 2023

“I love you.” It’s such an easy thing to say. We utter the words with a hug as we leave a relative or friend’s house. We whisper them when we snuggle with our children at bedtime. We often hear it said with a smile at church gatherings. We slowly mouth the tender words to soft…

To Hell in a Handbasket?

By Donna Jackson | June 20, 2023

For centuries, Christians have been portrayed as the bad guys.  During Jesus’ day, religious leaders felt like He threatened their status, power, and influence. Jealousy reared high its ugly, and seemingly-triumphant, head until a bloody crown of thorns bowed low on the cross. In A.D. 64, the egomaniac Nero first blamed the burning of Rome…