And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, Colossians 3:15.
When I played Little League, we had an umpire that was one of a kind. After all these years, I can hear his long and rather ridiculous third strike call. He loved baseball and loved making much of his position as umpire. After decades of umpiring, he had his dance-like moves down to an art. Mention his name to anyone who ever played a game where he umpired, and they’ll have a story and probably an impression. People loved to watch him, but hated to play when he was in charge because an umpire’s job isn’t to be the center of attention, his job is to judge. He has to know the rules to the game so well that he can see something happen in an instant and be able to quickly and accurately and apply the rules to the situation. When fans are booing him and managers are screaming, when the right call will break a kid’s heart or make his day, a good umpire will deal with the facts and apply the rules to make sure the game is played the right way.
Colossians 3 is dealing with church members. Born again, baptized, members of a local church, who have the peace of God. The Lord will give peace to His people (Psalm 29:11) and Romans 5:1 tells us believers are justified by faith and currently have the peace with God through Jesus Christ. Sometimes, rather than considering that our Father in Heaven supplies all our needs and knows what we have need of before we ask, we let our troubles dictate our actions. We consider our lack more than we consider the lilies (Luke 12:27-28). We think more how our sorrows will overtake us than we do how the sparrows are cared for (Matthew 10:29-31). When we forget the Lord’s promises or focus all our heart on our trials the peace of God is not ruling.
The Greek word translated “rule” here is what they called umpires in the Olympic games. God’s peace should be an arbiter in our hearts, discerning and ruling. All God’s people, regardless of what we look like or where we came from are one in Christ and so, as one of God’s elect, called into the one body of Christ, church members are to be merciful, kind, humble, and meek toward each other. God’s people put up with each other, we should be longsuffering with each other, and forgive one another when someone does us wrong, forgiving as Christ forgave us. Love in a church is the glue that binds us together in unity. So when trouble comes to church, let the peace of God rule. When conflicts arise, let God’s peace judge. When someone sins against us, let the peace of God be the umpire in the conflict, not our emotions or our pride. When we are unsettled, anxious, or confused by hard providences, let the peace of God rule.