One of my favorite words of wisdom in the Scriptures is:
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful (Colossians 3:15 NIV).”
It’s the word rule that grabs my attention. It means “to be in charge” or “to make the call,” much like the umpire in a baseball game I watched recently. Whenever I am faced with a difficult decision, it is the choice that relieves tension and brings a greater sense of inner peace that in all likelihood is the choice I should pursue. Let it make the call. Note, however, it isn’t referring to mere selfish desires I might have in isolation. For in its broader context the verse makes reference to peace in community.
“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 (Colossians 3:15-16).”
In other words, one of the most vital functions of the local Christ-following community is to inspire wise feedback (“admonish one another”) in an atmosphere that fosters peace. Time and again I have experienced how, when facing a personal dilemma, people with whom I have built trust and who will pray with me for the Holy Spirit’s guidance, have assisted me in locating the “peace zone” in my thinking. I may have started out with a different inclination, but patiently processing in unified community made letting the peace I had come to recognize and acknowledge make the call much easier. I once asked a seemingly successful businessman if he ever prayed about his decisions. He answered, “Not really. I figure God gave me a brain and I use it.” Within 5 years he had lost everything. I have always wondered how differently things might have turned out had he let the peace that comes through prayer in fellowship with unified community guide his decisions. I know every time I have just plowed ahead in selfish resolve, it hasn’t worked out too well for me.
So, Lord, I pray for your peace-inducing guidance in every decision I face. I also pray for family and friends who are confronted with as of yet unclear choices. Quiet our hearts before you. Sensitize us to your presence and inner voice. Help us submit to and let your peace govern our lives. Lord, hear my prayer.