15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And 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 3:15-17 NIV)
This is such a busy time of year. Between shopping for gifts for loved ones, decorating the house, volunteering to help those in need, traveling to visit family and friends, and of course, eating, it is an unfortunate reality that we have to set aside time to actually celebrate the birth of Christ. As verse 17 of this passage says, we should be doing all of these things in the name of the Lord Jesus, continually giving thanks to our Father for sending Him. But the reality is that this can be difficult.
This is undoubtedly one of the most stressful seasons of the year for most people. Yet we are called to peace. In trying to spread the love of Jesus, we often end up with a seemingly endless list of obligations while also trying to keep our loved ones happy. Yet we are told to let the peace of Christ rule our heart. How are we supposed to do that? Where is the balance?
While balancing our stressful lives with our call to peace can be a very difficult undertaking, Paul gives us a pretty clear explanation on how to begin the process here in his letter to the Colossians. We often think of peace as a passive act, or even the lack of an action at all. That makes it easy for us to read this passage and totally miss the power of peace that Paul is talking about. He says that the peace of Christ should rule our hearts. He doesn’t say that peace should camp out in our hearts or occasionally visit our souls, but it should take control of and command our every word and action.
Fortunately, he also gives insight on how to give way to peace so that it may stand a chance in our hearts that have a tendency to be selfish and full of worry. In order to allow the peace of Jesus Christ to rule our hearts, we must continually soak in his word and his spirit. Verse 16 says that we should let his word dwell in us richly, as we teach, spend time in discussion and fellowship, and sing songs of praise. If we truly put our hearts into these things, and do them solely for the glory of God, then our hearts will be open to the peace that comes with knowing that God is in control. As soon as we allow the Lord to take the lead in every aspect of our lives, we will spend much more time giving thanks to Him and much less time worrying about how everything will get done. Who ever thought that letting go of controlling your own life would be such a peaceful thing? The Apostle Paul did. Let’s follow his lead as we go throughout this Christmas season. Think about it.