Shalom means peace and is rooted in the word שלם (shaleim), which means completion. Without peace, there can be no completion.
Shalom helps us understand heaven, which will be the finished work of God's creation. When God first decided to create, He formed a plan that would produce the end result He desired, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Jer. 29:11.
His plan produces the shalom God wants His family to enjoy, and when the plan is completed, everything will work together for good, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Rom. 8:28. This shalom will be fulfilled when everyone in the family loves each other, "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Gal. 5:14, and God will be our neighbor.
Love is at the center of Shalom because love casts out fear, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." 1 Jn. 4:18, and it is possible to learn to love as He does once we believe He loves us, "We love him, because he first loved us." 1 Jn. 4:19. We do not need to earn His love. He freely offers it to all who choose to live in shalom. He calls those who refuse His offer fools, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." Prov. 1:7.
When the Bible speaks about wisdom and foolishness, it says a wise person understands God's creation and chooses to live in a way that provides joy and peace. In a way that is complete. In a way where everything works together for good. Jesus is that way, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Jn. 14:6.
So, we must avoid those things and behaviors that disturb Shalom. Hatred disturbs Shalom. Cruelty disturbs Shalom. Instead, we must seek the fruit of the Spirit, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." Gal. 5:22-23. Otherwise, we will have chosen this life only.
We can look around this world to see what fits into Shalom and what must be avoided. God gives us the discernment to choose correctly if we look for it in the Bible, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Rom. 12:2.
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