The Leader and Emotion: Peace

We have looked a David’s life to reflect on all kinds of emotions including joy, sorrow, fear, anger, guilt and vengeance. We’ll conclude our reflections on emotion with peace…a pleasant place to finish!  

1Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. 2Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. 3How long will you assault me? Would all of you throw me down— this leaning wall, this tottering fence? 4Surely they intend to topple me from my lofty place; they take delight in lies. With their mouths they bless, but in their hearts they curse. 5Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. 6Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. 7My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. 8Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge (Psalm 62:1-8).

David writes these words from a place of peaceful rest. He mentions rest several times as well as calls God his “rock”, “fortress”, and “refuge.” What does he teach us about peace?

Peace should be recognized. David says, “Truly my soul finds rest in God.” He is at a place of peaceful rest. Peace is an emotion we can easily overlook because it does not have the intensity of many other emotions. We are more likely to recognize when we feel anxious or angry. There are no loud bells or whistles to alert us to this emotion, just a quiet sense that our soul is at rest. When we are experiencing peace, it may feel so comfortable that we don’t recognize it!

We may believe that the emotion of peace can be experienced only when all is well. But David makes it clear that he is experiencing peace during an assault from his enemies! David helps servant leaders learn to recognize that peace is possible even during difficult times.

Peace should be revealed. David reveals that he is at a place of peace and rest. He reveals this emotion to himself and to others. He speaks about the state of his soul as he says, “my soul finds rest in God.” He also speaks to his soul, “Yes, my soul, find rest in God…” He invites servant leaders to not only reveal emotion but to direct their emotion in the proper direction. Finally, he invites others to join him in this emotion, “Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” His call is an invitation to all servant leaders who lack peace. David invites us to focus on God as a refuge for whatever storm we may be encountering.

When peace is missing, it may indicate that we are focused on the storm swirling around us instead of the “rock” who provides peace in the storm. Servant leaders learn to reveal peace and know what to do when they find it missing.

Peace should be restrained. Many of the emotions we have looked at need wise restraint to minimize any negative impact. But peace is generally a very positive emotion. It seems that we should desire more peace, not less! Yes, peace is a great emotion and most leaders should seek more of it. But there are also ways it can hinder our leadership.

A leader may enjoy a sense of peace so much that he/she is not willing to make difficult decisions and move forward courageously. Leaders cannot be satisfied with the way things are; they desire to bring change. They should do this with a peaceful spirit, but with many other emotions involved to overcome the friction of movement. There may also be times when peace is the wrong emotion. In the face of injustice, anger may be a more appropriate emotion than peace! So, servant leaders learn, as with other emotions, that peace at times should be restrained.

May you experience peace, as well as the full range of other emotions that God created us to feel. And may your leadership reflect appropriate expressions of them all! Use the ‘feelings wheel’ below to remind you that feelings are an important part of our journey.

Until next time, yours on the journey,

Jon Byler

For further reflection and discussion:

  • Would others describe me as a peaceful person?
  • Have I learned to “speak” to my soul as David did? If not, stop and practice! Reflect on what emotions you feel in your soul, then speak words of correction to yourself.
  • Do I tend to experience too little or too much peace? What does David teach me about how to correct that?
  • At the end of this series on emotions, take some time to reflect with the following questions:
    • How have I grown in my awareness of how I am feeling?
    • How have I changed in my willingness to let others know my emotions?
    • How have these changes impacted my leadership?              

In the next issue, we’ll begin a series on speaking the truth in love!  

Copyright, Global Disciples 2019