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 grace in your hearts.Colossians 3:15-16
We are to let the peace of Christ, the peace that “transcends all understanding” (Philippians 4:7), rule in our hearts. The word translated as “rule” is the Greek word brabeuó. It means “to act as an umpire, making the call in a conflict between contending forces, to arbitrate.”
The idea here is that there are different things contending for your heart. Fear, anxiety, worry, doubt, chaos, criticism, hopelessness, confusion, stress, and much more are all contending for a place in our hearts. We are commanded to let peace be the guiding principle, the final word, the thing that makes the decision as to what stays and what goes. Let peace call balls and strikes. Let peace decide what is safe to stay in your heart and what gets called out. In other words, if it doesn’t line up with the peace of Christ, it doesn’t get to stay.
How do we do this?
We get some clues in the passage of Scripture that follows.
- Be thankful! Gratitude invites peace.
- Let the word of Christ (or message of Christ) dwell in us richly. Staying regularly in God’s word invites peace.
- Teach and admonish with wisdom. Applying wisdom to our lives invites peace.
- Sing to God, with grace in our hearts, all different kinds of songs, hymns, psalms and songs from the Spirit. Worship focused on the grace that’s been poured out for us invites peace.
These simple but profound spiritual disciplines establish an environment of peace in our hearts.