The peace of Christ
Judges and umpires have been in the news a fair bit recently.
There was the incident with Serena Williams and the tennis umpire. And then there’s the nominee for the Supreme Court in the US who is currently in the news.
This isn’t about the rightness or wrongness of any of that. We know what the role of a umpire or judge is to do don’t we?…it’s to arbitrate...it’s to apply the rules.
Bear that in mind…
In Colossians 3:15 Paul writes, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.” Now, he’s addressing Christians living out their faith in the context of the church, but what he says, I think, is true, regardless.
The word that we read as “rule” in the NIV literally means “arbitrate”. So read it again, inserting that word instead.
Let the peace of Christ be the arbitrator in your hearts….
What’s Paul saying?
Whenever we are faced with a situation of conflict, or offence, or where we are at odds with someone else…where we have been wounded, we are to subject ourselves to the rule of Christ’s peace.
His peace should be the “rule” that determines how we resolve things. His peace should be what we submit to…allow ourselves to be directed by.
Again, not saying it’s easy (it isn’t), or quick (it’s not), or painless (we absorb the cost)…just saying it’s what we are called to do….it’s the way of life we surrender to when we choose Jesus.
Imagine what might change if, in all our dealings…in relational conflict…as we process our hurts…imagine if we were governed by Christ’s peace…if we were committed to allowing His peace to shape and influence our response.