And let the peace of Christ rule in your hears, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. (Colossians 3:15 ESV).
Heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide. It is important to consume a healthy diet and exercise adequately. Those who are at higher risk may have a doctor examine them. Some tests examine the heart from a distance, while others can look right inside the heart while it pumps.
While our physical hearts are essential to our physical well-being, there is another heart that is essential to our spiritual well-being. Merriam-Webster defines this heart as “one’s innermost character, feelings, or inclinations.” Imagine if you could look inside this heart while it pumps. What would you see?
What rules in your heart?
If you are like many it is anxiety, fear, distrust, or hatred. These negative feelings and inclinations become character when we allow them to rule in our hearts. We cannot peer into another’s heart, but often their character is on display. While we might try to hide them, these feelings are revealed through testing. Our speech and actions reveal our hearts. Jesus likens this to the fruit of a tree (Luke 6:43-45).
When discord reigns
Our physical hearts can become sick and damaged. This same is true of our spiritual hearts. When anxiety, fear, distrust, or hatred reigns our whole being suffers. Our relationship with God is compromised, and our ability to see others as part of God’s creation is effected. We might not be able to reason with others, and they cannot reason with us. Soon we whither and die.
When peace reigns
Many have desired peace only to find their pursuits end in failure. Whether they pursue a type of peace through strength (Hadrian) or compromise (Chamberlain), the peace they pursue is not a true and lasting peace, and is bound to fail.
In contrast, the peace of Christ is true and lasting in every respect. When we have peace with God through Jesus Christ, we naturally should begin to propagate peace in our hearts. The word of Christ should cultivate within us the true character of Christ.
True thanksgiving can be found when true peace rules in our hearts. As you contemplate the blessings you have been given, take some time for self-reflection. Test yourselves to see if peace is ruling in your heart. May I suggest to you that you place your life alongside Colossians 3:12-17. Compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience are sorely needed today.
Of this you can be sure; God can, with perfect vision, gaze into your heart. Oh, may we insure that he is pleased with what he sees!