Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 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. Colossians 3:12–15 (NLT)
When you read this portion of scripture, it can be difficult to imagine peace ruling and having dominion in our hearts. Our world is just too upsetting, we may think. The writer made it clear here that we must choose to put on six distinctive attitudes: mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness. Then, we are to tie them together with love.
Wow! I think that extending forgiveness will be especially hard if you don’t choose to love those who have offended you. I believe that it is impossible to find peace with God and others until we learn to let go of offenses. That’s why The Believer’s Prayer, also known as The Lord’s Prayer, contains the words, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”*
Forgiveness is a golden key to peace in our hearts. We have been forgiven, and we, likewise, should forgive as we have been forgiven. Many people live in torment and do not know peace because they refuse to let go and let God fix others.
If you refuse to forgive someone right now, please remember that Jesus forgave you a lifetime of sins. Surely you can forgive someone for their trespasses against you. Please, do it now!
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you. Let the Lord help them with their mistakes today. You have enough of your own to deal with on a given day. You cannot even fix yourself. Stop trying to fix others as if they are broken. Forgive and move on. You will travel a lot lighter without all that baggage from the past. You will live lighter, sleep better and laugh more, trust me.
Then, only then, the peace that Christ gives can have dominion over our hearts. Then he continues with our first portion of scripture:
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. Colossians 3:12–15 (NLT)
Notice, he wrote, always be thankful. After we choose to cooperate with God’s plan, peace will rule in our hearts. Gratitude will be the expected by-product. If you have a hard time being grateful, go through the preceding steps to see what is missing. Make the necessary adjustments.
So, let’s do that today. Let’s put on those six attitudes. Let’s tie them together with love. Finally, let peace rule in your heart. Oh yes, don’t forget to be thankful!
- As you face the rest of the day, put on mercy. Don’t try to take revenge. Don’t be judge, jury, and executioner.
- Kindness is the opposite of meanness. Choose kindness.
- Be humble. Pride comes before a fall.
- Be gentle. You don’t know what others are battling.
- Be patient. Enough said.
- Forgive others, because God forgave you first.
- Read I Corinthians 13’s definition of love. Do that.
- Let peace rule. From our scripture, we see that peace is a choice and an outcome resulting from the right decisions.
- When you feel the peace welling up in your heart, don’t forget to be thankful. God is good.
* See Matthew 6:9–13 and Luke 11:2–4.
Article excerpted from The Art of Peace: 21 Days To A More Peaceful You by Iann Schonken: