Colossians 3: 17 Let peace rule
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:14-17NIV)
Paul tells us to rid ourselves of sin, then to clothe ourselves with virtues such as compassion and kindness. He then says that love is the overcoat binding every action and attitude together. Virtues generated by love flow gracefully. They are genuine and transparent. There is no gritting of teeth or compulsion fuelled by guilt or religious fervour or desire to look good. Authenticity is precious and possible through the grace of God working through us and in us.
Let peace rule. To rule means to have dominion. A ruler makes decisions and settles things. Peace is the opposite of anxiety or fear. We are called to peace, not to striving, and to make every effort to live at peace. I need to have internal harmony which will then guide my dealings with others. Internal stress will erupt externally and express itself through irritability, self-preoccupation and frayed tempers with others.
The next instruction will open the door to peace. Be thankful. Gratitude enables perspective. When I give thanks I see all the good I enjoy and the small challenges become a source of prayer. Peace comes as I look to heaven in thanks. Letting the word of Christ dwell through all sorts of spiritual practices. Gathering with others to pray strengthens and builds on my personal prayer. I am encouraged to extend my perspective and pray about situations and people outside of my daily concerns. Praying with others often starts with a shared bible passage that shapes and directs the direction of prayer centering my heart and enabled me to receive and give again.
What is the “whatever” of this day that needs to be offered in prayer so that you can live in peace and express gratitude to God?
Lord Jesus you renew my mind. Transform me now. Energise me, and clothe me with love and kindness that reaches out to others. Mobilise and motivate me to pray and through prayer to see the peace of Christ take dominion in my heart and the challenging situations I face. Amen