The traditional Hebrew word “shalom” is often translated simply as peace, but it’s true meaning is significantly more complex, & quite nuanced. Indeed, this beautiful word means peace, but it is peace in a comprehensive, life-sustaining sense of complete wholeness over the mind, body, emotions & spirit…over the individual life & all its relationships. According to Strong’s Concordance,
“Shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord. Shalom comes from the root verb shalom meaning to be complete, perfect and full.”
This definition reminds me of Paul’s declaration in Romans 8: “If God is FOR us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but willingly gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” Is it not, indeed, His desire to give us all things…for us to know in our souls that in Christ we have all that we need. Peter joins in the proclamation: “His divine power has given us everything we need for life & godliness” (emphasis mine). The journey toward wholeness is the life of each one of us wholly surrendered. In Hebrew, it is used as both a greeting & a farewell, becoming a proclamation on the life on whom it is bestowed. May we receive it; may we offer it. May our Prince of Peace continue to pervade each & every area of our lives.