How To Live a Quiet and Peaceful Life

Good news folks: I have discovered the secret to being able to live a life with no conflict, no disquiet, no opposition, and no rough sailing. Of course not every trouble and difficulty in life will be avoided, but one very big source of strife can largely be eliminated altogether.

I refer to social flack one can get on any number of fronts. One can get criticised and berated simply for speaking out on a whole range of topics. One can get slammed even when one has the best of intentions. One can get viciously attacked simply for taking an unpopular stance on some contemporary issue.

So in the interests of sparing you all this social disapprobation, I here offer a handy list of things you can do to ensure that you live a quiet and peaceful life. Indeed, follow this instruction list carefully, and I can almost guarantee that you will live a life of ease and tranquillity.

Here then are some helpful dos and don’ts:

-Always remain silent whenever a controversial topic is being discussed.
-Refuse to enter into any debate on religion or politics.
-Never offer your opinion on any hot potato issue.
-Always simply agree with what anyone else says.
-Fully embrace the PC agenda.
-Always go along with the crowd.
-Never quote from the Bible or great Christian heroes.
-Don’t try to make the world a better place.
-Whatever you do, never rock the boat.
-Always agree with your ideological adversary.
-Fully embrace the postmodern conviction that there is no absolute truth.
-Latch on to the idea that the main thing in life is to be “tolerant”.
-Avoid all public debates and discussions.
-Stay away from all social media.
-Never write a letter to the editor.
-Do not engage in talk-back radio.
-Steer clear of any public forums where controversial issues are being discussed.
-Convince yourself that keeping the peace is our greatest calling.
-Cultivate a fear of offending anyone or upsetting anyone.
-Let the fear of man be your main motivation in life.
-Let the praise of men rather than the fear of God be your guiding principle.
-Buy into the line which says we should just be “loving” and not get bogged down in doctrine.
-Make sure you put your own personal comfort and wellbeing above all else.
-And above all – rule numero uno – never, ever talk about your Christian faith in public. Keep your mouth shut and never dare to talk about your faith with anyone. This one bit of advice alone will save you countless attacks, rebukes, and instances of ridicule, scorn, derision and mockery.

So as I say, simply follow these easy instructions, and your life really should be a whole lot more pleasant and trouble-free. Of course there is one downside to all this. If you are a Christian and put this into practice, you have effectively denied your faith. Consider what Scripture says about all this:

-Luke 11:23 He who is not with me is against me
-Luke 12:8-9 I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God.
-Romans 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
-1 Cor 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
-Matt 10:34 Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace on the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
-Matt 13:57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.”
-Proverbs 29:25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.
-Acts 17:6 These that have turned the world upside down have come here also.

At the end of the day, it is only those who don’t care, or who value personal peace and comfort above all else, who will be quite happy to abide by my list. Indeed, for them it is a no-brainer. They do not care and they do not want to rock the boat.

They actually prefer a life of ease and comfort, and avoid confrontation and controversy like the plague. How many Christians have in fact bought into the current anti-Christian notions of tolerance where the highest good is seen to be agreeing with everyone and challenging nothing?

This false notion of tolerance means that we will never take a stand for anything important for fear of offending someone or causing a stir. We have managed to convince ourselves that tolerance in the face of great evil is some sort of virtue.

But the exact opposite is the case. We are called to take a stand, to represent our Lord boldly and fearlessly, to resist evil, to stand against the works of darkness, and uphold truth in the public arena. A true disciple of Christ will never hide his light under a bushel, but will resolutely proclaim Christ and the values of the Kingdom.

We are never to tolerate evil, falsehood and assaults on our Lord, but stand up for what is right, what is true, and what is important. That is the very heart of the Christian life. One simply has to read the book of Acts to see this lived out on a daily basis.

The late John Stott put it this way: “Tolerance is not a spiritual gift; it is the distinguishing mark of postmodernism; and sadly, it has permeated the very fiber of Christianity. Why is it that those who have no biblical convictions or theology to govern and direct their actions are tolerated and the standard or truth of God’s Word rightly divided and applied is dismissed as extreme opinion or legalism?”

I think Dorothy Sayers, the great English writer, said it best: “In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair, the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die.”

But at least you will have a quiet and peaceful life – for a while.

[1092 words]

31 Replies to “How To Live a Quiet and Peaceful Life”

  1. Bill, your list describes a selfish wimp.

    I think I’ll take a bit of flak instead.

    John Symons

  2. And all the blows from people who choose to be sheep and are ashamed of it fall on you Bill for reminding them.
    Martin Snigg

  3. Oh man, I’ve got to do all that to get a quiet life??

    I’m in for a rocky ride, then, it seems.. 🙂

    Morris Otte

  4. Thanks Bill, a well made point and a good article.

    I wonder if you would like to comment on Prov 23:9?
    I don’t believe it’s contradicting any of your points of course, but where and when is it the wise thing to withhold comment? (pearls before swine…). I would think that it is really the call for discrimination in what one says – there is such a thing as saying the right thing in the wrong way or at the wrong time I think. I suppose wisdom would be to answer a fool according to his folly (give him the answer he needs), as opposed to answering him according to his folly (giving him an answer just as foolish as what he’s said to you) (Prov 26:4). This may include just keeping your mouth shut at times. Any thoughts?

    The other one I think about is Romans 12:18 – which I believe outlines the rightness of desiring peace, but not at the cost of unfaithfulness to the Lord. After all, the Lord does desire us to live a life of quiet godliness! (1 Thess 4:11)

    I think it’s also important that while we speak the truth, we speak it in love and don’t give anyone cause for offence (inasmuch as it depends on us!). I’m as guilty as anyone, but there’s all the difference in the world between using the same point to either win an argument or to lovingly convict a sinner.

    Anyway, a couple of random thoughts! Be interested to hear your reflections.

    God bless,
    Isaac Overton

  5. Thanks Isaac

    Yes you are correct in all you say. And I have often written about such matters elsewhere. And yes, none of your points negate what I wrote here.

    -Of course we are to be discerning and tactful and wise as to when and where we speak.
    -Of course not everyone deserves a response, and we must follow the words of Jesus when he said we should not cast our pearls before swine.
    -Of course we are to speak the truth in love.
    -Of course we should seek for peace and unity, but never at the expense of truth.

    But I have written about all these matters elsewhere on this site. See for example:
    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2011/07/12/love-and-truth-again/
    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2009/03/16/on-truth-and-unity-part-one/
    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2009/03/16/on-truth-and-unity-part-two/

    BTW, if you want to (rightly) cite Prov. 26:4, then you must go on to cite Prov. 26:5. They do go together after all!

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  6. Question for ya Bill, and all ya faithheads on here.

    Suppose you were diagnosed with a serious medical condition, and every doctor you saw agreed that you needed surgery and medication, or a miracle to survive.

    Suppose you’re then given two options. One is for every single Christian in the world to passionately pray for you for ten minutes a day in the hope that God listens to all these plees and gives you a mircale and you live.

    The other is for no prayers from anyone, but the best Western medicine, surgery and aftercare available.

    Which would you choose and why?

    I can answer for you. You’d all choose the second option, because you all know prayer doesn’t work. You’re all just hypocrites. I’m an atheist.

    Harry H Corbett

  7. Thanks Harry

    Yes it is obvious that you are an atheist. It is also obvious that logical clarity is not a strong suit of atheists. You have of course committed one of the most basic of logical fallacies, the false dilemma. There is obviously no need whatsoever to choose one or the other options here. Everyone on the planet – except the ideologically-driven atheist fundamentalist who is on a crusade – would of course do both in such a situation. He or she would seek expert medical help, and pray at the same time. There is no reason at all why one cannot engage in both courses of action at the same time. They do not negate each other but in fact supplement each other.

    Indeed, given that God himself has given us the ability to use our minds and talents to become members of the medical community, we would argue that God is just as much in the doctor’s surgery as he is in the prayer room. God can use both surgeons and prayer to accomplish his purposes. They are mutually compatible, and two facets of God’s healing hand in this world.

    The old story of there being no atheists in fox holes fits in here. No one in that situation – except, again, for the militant atheist evangelists – would not do two things simultaneously: try to get out of the line of fire, and pray like mad.

    So there is no hypocrisy here whatsoever. But given that this post was not in the slightest bit related to your nonsensical objection, we simply have more evidence of the dogged crusade you angry atheists are on to push your ugly and reductionist agenda onto the rest of the world. Good luck with that.

    But I will pray for you, knowing full well that prayer in fact works. It certainly turned my life around. You see, I too was once an embittered and crusty old atheist like you. But through the prayer of others, God has turned me around and set me free. Now I enjoy fullness of life and peace with God. I will pray the same for you.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  8. Hi Bill, the fact that an atheist is reading your posts is extremely encouraging as now myself, family and prayer group will be praying for this persons’ salvation. Ps. Rob Buckingham was also an atheist before he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour. In fact there are MANY once atheists who are now born again Christians. All a result of prayer I’d say. One doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist to work that one out so to all atheists, keep reading Bill’s posts and reveal who you are because as you do, we will pray for you and God WILL answer our prayers…..I have no doubt. God Bless,
    Mark Nolan

  9. What the atheist doesn’t realise is that when God doesn’t heal a Christian but instead lets them die he isn’t ignoring their prayers. Instead he says, “I know you want to live but I have something far better in mind. It’s time you were welcomed into heaven.”

    Bill, you forgot to mention the one thing that must never, under any circumstances be tolerated: A Bible-believing Christian.

    Kylie Anderson

  10. “Never quote from the Bible ”

    Not quite…
    It’s ok to quote the parts which are palatable to modern sensibilities, for example

    “turn the other cheek”
    “judge not”
    “God is love”
    “Love your neighbour”

    Jereth Kok

  11. Wow Harry, to have every single Christian in the world to passionately pray for you for ten minutes a day would be a miracle from God in itself. If God didn’t orchestrate that event, there would have to be an incredible team of people informing every single Christian about this world wide prayer request. Hey, not everyone has internet yet!

    Secondly, I do think this is a false dilemma. A dilemma has only two options, yet any Christian who truly believes in God would surely pray to God themselves if they were faced with this situation of life and death. Not to do so (as a Christian) would be absurd. So here is the realistic third option. I believe this is what most Christians would do – pray and see a doctor as well.

    The question is not so much about trusting in ‘prayer’ but rather, trusting in God. Prayer to God for healing is simply – asking God for healing. People can pray to a brick wall if they want to … but that sort of prayer definitely doesn’t work.

    Annette Nestor

  12. (continued)

    …Then mention how these teachings are similar to all the other great religions and moral teachers, eg. Buddhism, Gandhi, the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela.

    And of course, emphasise that these quotes are from the gracious God of the New Testament, not the angry deity of the Old Testament.

    This is how you can quote the Bible in public discourse and not offend anyone.

    Jereth Kok

  13. Hi Bill, I think it is interesting that one would mention other impacting teachings from other great religions and moral teachers, eg. Buddhism, Gandhi, the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela. However, there is NO OTHER person or teaching like Christianity that teaches the FACT that God sent His only Son to die for ALL mankind…the SUPREME sacrifice. Jesus Christ…THE name on everybody’s lips 😉
    Mark Nolan

  14. Mr Corbett’s choice is contrived. People receiving the best of Western medicine can and do pray also. I have observed that myself. Moreover, there’s sociological evidence that some non-believers do in fact pray. And I have observed that, too.
    John Snowden

  15. Harry there must be many occasions when you have asked something of someone whom you have never met and are never likely to meet. The only proof that the person exists is that they respond to your specific requests – unless of course the connection between the asking and the responses are mere co-incidence.
    To take the example that you mentioned concerning a medical help, it is possible in the future that you may never come face to face with the surgeon who operates on you. “The development of wireless commands will make it reasonably safe for robotic surgeons to operate over vast distances. Robotic surgery will be possible across nations, deep under the sea and in outer space.”
    The question we need to ask ourselves is how many people on this planet over a period of some thousands of years have experienced a specific response from God as a result of specific prayer. The evidence is overwhelming.
    But being forced to concede the existence of a God who there and is who not silent is no guarantee that we will acknowledge Him as our Lord and Saviour. Like Satan, we still have the freedom to spit in His face.

    David Skinner, UK

  16. Harry H. Corbett said: “You call that an answer?”

    It was a pretty good answer by Bill. The truth is, Harry, that no matter what Bill or anyone else here says, you are not going to listen – because your problem is not disbelief… but rebellion. Somewhere deep in your heart you DO know God is real, but do not want to be beholden to Him. You can snap and snarl against the truth all you wish, but truth is what it is, and denying it doesn’t change the fact that it’s the truth. I’ll pray for you that God will change your heart.

    Morris Otte

  17. Harry, perhaps I am being presumptuous, but I would imagine that you exercise belief and faith in things that you cannot actually see every waking moment. Take for example someone catching a plane. Most people simply follow a serious of operations: buying a ticket and following the signs to the airport, arrival lounge, check- in and finally to their seat.

    What they do not do is check out every conceivable aspect of commercial flying, from the design of the aircraft, to the study of aerodynamics, meteorology and so on an so forth – even to demanding to be let into the control tower before they take the flight. Most people based on past experience, the reliability of the evidence of people in whom they trust, reason and common sense, exercise faith every minute of the day – just like those who travelled on the Titanic or Concorde’s last fateful flight. And yet for you to trust in the God of Abraham, Isaac – of a third of the world’s population that identifies itself as Christian – for guidance in far less risky decisions, such as the choice of which TV programme to watch, how you should spend $100, or what you should say to your neighbour, you demand a level of proof infinitely greater than that even of those unfortunate astronauts strapped into the doomed space shuttle, Challenger.

    Even children and those we would call half–wits or the mentally challenged, would claim to have a living relationship with their Daddy in Heaven. As Morris Otte says it not for lack of understanding that people dismiss the Christian faith; it is simply that they do not wish relinquish their hold over a life they can never keep anyway. As Jim Elliot said, “He is no fool who gives up what he can never keep in order to gain what he can never loose (eternal life).”

    David Skinner, UK

  18. I object to being described as a “faithhead” by an atheist who by definition must have the greatest ‘faith’ of all. Atheism must be accepted on the basis of ‘faith’ since it is not possible to prove the nonexistence of God. And more so too since to explain the Creation in the absence of a Creator requires a blind faith in some of the most absurd propositions ever devised by human minds – cosmological and biological evolution being just a couple of prime examples.

    When it comes to ‘faith’ I confess I can’t compete with our atheist friends. I just can’t make that required leap and suspend reason, rationality, and logic.

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria

  19. I would go and see a doctor. In fact I know one who is a Christian. He loves to pray for healing and help medically as well. I’m sure then he could get all the other Christian doctors he knows to pray as well. They could probably get all their Christian friends to pray as well. That amount of prayer would certainly have a significant affect.
    Warren Lam

  20. I found it encouraging and exciting that Harry is reading Bill’s Culture Watch comments, cares enough to write a critique, and then checks up on the answer. Wow, is God working in his life in a wonderful way? Keep up the prayers, folks, and praise the Lord for the way He touches the hearts of his children.
    Lorna Rogers

  21. Hi there Bill
    I have often wondered why, in the past, I received nasty phone calls, death threats on the phone and luckily, on two occasions, discovered some baits in the yard before I let my German shepherd out from the garage. Luckily those worries have ceased in recent years. Now I know why I was once a target – your excellent article revealed all.
    Frank Bellet, Petrie Qld

  22. World events are currently playing out in an ominous way – not the best time to take Voltaire’s advice to “cultivate our gardens” as if nothing was going on. If you feel something strongly you should express it; to repress you feelings can make you physically ill. I like the proverb from Solomon 15 “a gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger”. We learn that Jesus spoke in parables and did not preach in a finger-wagging way and for those who love the truth, Jesus said I am the way the truth and the light – no one comes to the Father except through me. When one finds oneself in a dire situation these words suddenly light up and mean something in context, which might have meant nothing before. It is possible to be blessed with the peace of God which surpasses our understanding.
    Rachel Smith

  23. I like this site. Your articles are always challenging and thought provoking.
    Carl Strehlow

  24. Sounds great BUT what about the cost? We would rather have the ‘good & faithful servant’ as we pass over into the next life & no accolades now. We could not bear to see our Lord look at us with sorrow. Thank you Bill for the reminder, it sounds good but eventually what a heavy cost. We will persist even though the world around us seems not to listen, even when the Press refuse to publish our comments, even when we are finally ‘rejected and despised’ by all we would seek to help. We will continue to seek to be ‘overcomers’ for His sake.
    Marion Minty

  25. 2 Timothy 4:2 ;”Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.” Paraphrased, for me at least, here, The Word is saying: We are all priests of the new covenant; so when it’s convenient and seems right, or when it’s not convenient and doesn’t seem right reprove, rebuke and exhort with all love and knowledge of the truth, because as stated in 2 Timothy 4:3; for a time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine but after their own lusts shall heap unto themselves teachers, their ears itching to hear what they want to hear…
    Kim Wade

  26. Thanks to Kim for highlighting these wise words from Timothy 2.
    Rachel Smith

  27. Hello Bill

    Many thanks, your website is brilliant.
    As a former ‘new ager’ and a new Christian convert I completely agree with all that you said. Your advice for a quiet and peaceful life is exactly the message of the New Age Movement.I was one of those who, tired of being bullied all my life for my old fashioned morals, sunk in the modern thinking, with the good intention of being more understanding and loving towards people.I got terribly lost! And I can say frankly that being ‘tolerant’ leads us nowhere. Even so, our biggest Christian duty is charity. There is a verse in the Bible that sums up all: ‘Speaking the truth in love’.(Ephesians 4:15) We live in a world of lies, the most loving thing is to show others the way of the truth,which includes speaking and not being silent but even more so, to live and die for the truth! Just like Jesus Christ our Lord effectively did! There are two kinds of peace, the peace that Jesus gives to us, even in the midst of pain, and the peace of the world, the peace of a dead soul for who nothing really matters…

    Keila Dias

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