“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”
In the third chapter of Colossians, Paul instructs the church on how they ought to be living. He mentions several virtues – compassion, kindness, meekness, humility, forgiveness, and more – and as he comes to the end of his list, he includes this verse. He says that we ought to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts.
It’s an interesting choice of words. Let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts. If I was telling someone to have peace in their heart, I think I’d use a verb like “be” or “abide” or “remain.” None of these are very strong or active though. Paul uses “rule.” It’s not passive. It’s dominant. It makes me think that Paul wanted to get the point across that the peace of Christ should not be a passive factor in our lives, but a controlling one.
Our lives should be ruled – controlled, instructed, commanded – by the peace of Christ.
It’s almost an oxymoron. When you think of peace, you think of something passive. When I think of something peaceful, the first thing that comes to mind is not what is present but what is absent. When it’s peaceful, there is no noise or anger or violence, there is no shouting or cursing or pain. It’s a lack of bad things. But I think Paul sees it differently. All of these things are a lack of the peace of Christ, not the other way around.
If godly peace is ruling your heart, then those other things must be absent. For peace to reign, we have to actively set those things aside. That’s what Paul is admonishing us to do. Let the peace of Christ reign over your heart and your life. Don’t let peace be a lucky moment of respite from the negative things and feelings of life. Let peace be your default, your presiding state of being.
That’s the peace of Christ.
Give me your peace. Let me not seek peace as a momentary and occasional getaway, but as a defining mark of my life. Let peace rule over my life, and let me pursue the peace of Christ in every way.
In Jesus’ Name,