“15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” (Colossians 3:15–17, NASB95)
In our passage, the Apostle Paul admonishes his readers to internalize the Word of God in their hearts that it may dwell in them richly. This begins by allowing the peace of God to take rule over our lives as believers so that self-centeredness would be replaced with Christlikeness. This is the holy call of all believers, a call for all who have accepted Christ, to live in peace and harmony.
Once the peace of Christ is established in the believer’s heart and Christ’s word is presented continually, God-centered harmony will manifest itself in the manner proposed by the apostle, through “teaching, admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (v. 16). It is hard to hold anything against a brother or sister in the Lord when these acts are being manifest from our hearts. And the believer can manifest these things if, “in word or deed” (v. 17a), they do “in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving all thanks to God the Father through him” (v. 17b).
Serving in the Christian ministry allows us to experience numerous instances where Paul’s admonishing is not present, and unity and peace in the body of Christ are elusive. The danger for the believer is allowing the seed of bitterness planted by one individual to take root in the heart. We must keep the peace of Christ within us, which is only possible through the continual inworking of the Holy Spirit in our life. This must be a daily experience, and when the bitterness manifests its presence, we must not make it our own. In the same manner, we must continually allow the peace of Christ to rule in us so that we, too, can avoid bitterness towards others.
As you prepare to face another day, may the God of peace rule in your heart, and may the Holy Spirit guide you in all your ways.