“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”
Melinda and Edward have been having a tiff.
The siblings who are heirs to Canada’s largest telecommunications company are duking it out for control in the courts and it isn’t pretty.
Both want the right to rule, you see. And they have very different ideas of how that rule should be carried out.
I don’t imagine that family had the most peaceful of holidays…
A sad scenario, but one which has some important lessons for us today. See, if one would step back and let the other have control, there would be instant peace.
But not one without its losses.
Someone would need to give up some ground. Renege on their claims. Be unselfish. And sometimes, we’d rather save face than save feelings.
Which brings us to our point.
‘And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts…’
As in, allow it to be the boss.
Which means loss.
Loss of rights – like the right to be always right. Or to get in the last word. Or to come out on top. Or to wipe that smug satisfaction off their face. Or to twist that knife and hurt them like they hurt you.
It takes guts to let peace rule, you know. This is not a wussy, doormat, meek and mild way of life. It takes courage and a boatload of strength to bite your tongue against that smart aleck zinger and just walk away. It takes a certain self awareness, an ability to put the needs of others ahead of our own, to act in ways that are contrary to our instincts in the heat of the battle.
It means submitting the results to God, and leaving them in His hands – the most courageous act of them all.
We are called to peace. As in, expected to live peaceful lives. Not just when people are kind and thoughtful toward us, either – those are the easy choices.
It takes true grit to determine to keep the peace when it means we may get the short end of the stick.
But as we work toward actively promoting peace in our wee corner of the world, we are taking steps in the very path of our mighty Jesus.
And the promise declares that peace is a heavenly gift to those who will learn to wield it properly.
Let peace rule in your heart with me?
Father, our own agendas call us to scramble and claw for our own rights, when peace is the greater goal than our own gratification. Open our eyes to new ways in which we can step out of the way and allow peace to rule in our hearts. Amen.