Shalom is a Hebrew word often translated as “peace,” but its meaning goes far beyond what we commonly associate with peace. In the Bible, this word represents not only the absence of conflict or turmoil but also the presence of well-being, completeness, and harmony. It’s a concept deeply intertwined with God’s character and desire for humanity.
In this post, we will further discuss the meaning of Shalom, its significance, and how it is used in the Bible.
Shalom Means Peace in the Bible
Jesus conveys peace to his disciples in John 14:27. Following His resurrection, Jesus greets His disciples with the word “Peace” on multiple occasions (John 20:19, 21, 26). Evidently, the term “peace” carries profound significance in these encounters.
But what does this peace offered by Jesus truly entail? It’s essential to explore the rich Hebrew concept of “shalom” to grasp the full depth of His words.
Shalom stands as a central word and symbol for salvation in the Bible. In Hebrew, it primarily denotes a person’s state of being unharmed, safe, whole, and sound. In the New Testament, shalom reveals itself as the reconciliation of all things to God through the work of Christ. Through His sacrifice on the cross, Christ makes peace by reconciling all things to God, on earth, and in heaven (Colossians 1:19–20).
The experience of shalom is multifaceted, representing complete well-being encompassing life’s physical, psychological, social, and spiritual dimensions. It arises from the restoration of all relationships: with God, with oneself, and with others. In this holistic sense, shalom embodies the profound peace that Jesus imparts to us.
The Significance of Shalom in the Bible
Shalom holds immense relevance for us today, offering a blueprint for a life of true well-being, harmony, and peace.
Foremost, shalom is about personal wholeness. According to Psalm 139:1, we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Shalom calls us to embrace and nurture our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. It’s a reminder that we are complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10).
Shalom also means reconciliation. Through Christ’s sacrifice, we are reconciled with God (2 Corinthians 5:18). This reconciliation not only restores our relationship with our Creator but empowers us to reconcile with others, fostering peace in our communities.
Moreover, shalom provides inner peace. In a world marked by chaos and turmoil, the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guards our hearts and minds, as referenced in Philippians 4:7. It is a peace that remains steadfast even during life’s storms.
Shalom also restores fractured relationships. Whether it’s with God, family, friends, or even enemies, the call to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9) resonates deeply with the concept of Shalom. It encourages us to pursue reconciliation and harmony with those around us.
How To Practice Shalom in Our Lives
Understanding how to practice this holistic well-being and peace in our daily walk with God is crucial. Shalom is not just a theoretical concept; it’s a way of life we are called to embrace actively. Here are some practical steps to help you practice Shalom:
- Start your day by surrendering your worries, anxieties, and fears to the Lord in prayer. Remember the words of Jesus in John 14:27 and Philippians 4:7.
- Shalom involves reconciling broken relationships. If you have conflicts or unresolved issues with someone, take the initiative to seek reconciliation. In Matthew 5:9, Jesus said that peacemakers are blessed.
- Forgive others as Christ forgave you (Colossians 3:13). Holding onto grudges and bitterness only hinders your own peace.
- Develop habits that promote inner peace. Regular meditation on God’s Word and prayer can bring a deep sense of peace and assurance. Keep in mind that God is in control (Psalm 46:10).
- Actively engage in acts of service and kindness. Serving others not only reflects the love of Christ but also brings a sense of fulfillment and peace to your own life.
- Foster harmony in your family, workplace, and community. Strive to be a peacemaker and promote unity (Ephesians 4:3).
- Set aside regular times for rest and reflection. The Sabbath reminds us of God’s Shalom and our need for rest in Him.
- Trust in God’s plan for your life. Even in challenging times, remember Romans 8:28.
Practicing Shalom is a lifelong journey, and none of us will achieve it perfectly. But as we continually seek God’s presence and His peace, we can become agents of Shalom in a world needing healing and restoration.
As we conclude our discussion of Shalom and its profound significance in the Bible, let me leave you with some words of wisdom and encouragement. Shalom is not merely a theological concept or a distant ideal; it’s a living reality that we can embrace and embody in our daily lives.
Remember that Shalom is about more than just the absence of conflict; it’s about the presence of complete well-being, harmony, and peace in every dimension of our existence. It’s a call to wholeness, reconciliation, inner tranquility, and restoring broken relationships.
As a pastor, I encourage each one of you to embrace Shalom as a way of life, for in doing so, you not only find personal well-being and peace but also become instruments of God’s healing and restoration in a world desperately in need of it. May the God of Shalom guide and empower you on this transformative journey, filling your lives with His complete well-being and peace.