Have you ever seen a car wreck on the side of the road? How hard is it to not stop and look? We know people give into this temptation, because most of the time, traffic becomes a near standstill. Every single person that drives by tries to take a peek.
Often, the people who are trying to peek at the wreck end up causing their own accidents. Interestingly enough, I find the same thing can be true in regards to investing.
When I look at the headlines on a day‑to‑day basis, they’re constantly driven by fear or greed when making investment decisions.
Are these headlines causing you to be an investing “rubbernecker”? Do you end up causing your own investment accidents that could easily be avoided? This can be a challenge as the headlines and the times we live in seem more stressful and sensational than ever.
The real secret to avoiding these investment accidents is to seek peace in all circumstances. For many, this is not as easy as it sounds. I believe there are three elements to understanding peace before you can truly operate from a sense of peace.
The first is knowing the definition of peace. In Hebrew, the word for peace is “shalom.” Personally, as I have come to understand and live this definition, I have found it to be very beautiful.
In his book, “God, Israel, and You,” Michael Onifer makes the following statement, “The word ‘shalom’ had a deeper, fuller meaning. It’s not just peace. It is prosperity and fullness. In a way, it’s like being a weaned child with its mother and experiencing not only absence of conflict but a fullness of purpose.”
As I think about it, I picture a child cuddled up in its mother or father’s arms and asleep, no matter what’s going on around them. A storm could be raging outside, but that deep sleep carries them through. That’s what God wants for us on a regular basis.
A life of peace is really better stated, “a life of shalom.” Can you imagine waking up on a day‑to‑day basis and having that perfect calmness no matter the circumstances? You know God is in control, and he’s going to take care of everything, no matter what comes at you.
The second element is understanding what peace isn’t. Peace isn’t a passing feeling. Peace is not a state of mind, it’s a choice. Peace comes from a deeper place internally and is something you have to believe in as much as you feel.
Experiencing God’s peace also means you know there will be bad times along with the good times. Your expectations of Him don’t change just because of the circumstances.
You know when things are bad, He will be there. You know when things are good, He’s there. No matter what, you trust that He is there.
The third element is knowing what peace is. Peace is a person. The true peace that we experience is found in Jesus Christ.
If you look at the life of Christ, you can see how He faced all circumstances. He knew He was in His Father’s will. He knew He was living out His purpose.
Jesus experienced times of joy. He experienced times of frustration. Even in the Garden of Gethsemane before his crucifixion, we find Jesus experiencing times of anxiety. Yet, in all of that, he was able to say, “Not My will, but Your will be done.” At the end of the day, that’s what peace is.
We can’t control the circumstances of the investment market. We have little to no control over outcomes. Every single day, something will come along that will attempt to disrupt our peace. We must learn our faith truly lies in God and His provision, and not inside the Investment Statement that comes to us every month. We do have control over the way we choose to react and experience it.
If you feel like you tend to simply react to the markets, the economy, and the action of the government, we’d love to talk to you. It’s all a distraction from what God ultimately wants for you. You can build an investment philosophy based on peace. Give us a call at (985) 727-0770 or email [email protected] to find out more.