Sunday Devotional: Let the peace of Christ control your hearts
Posted on December 27, 2020 by Dr. Eowyn
Brothers and sisters:
Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,
heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
bearing with one another and forgiving one another,
if one has a grievance against another;
as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.
And over all these put on love,
that is, the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of Christ control your hearts,
the peace into which you were also called in one body.
And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,
as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another,
singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
with gratitude in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, in word or in deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Below are 6 ways we can have the “peace of Christ” in our hearts (h/t Christian Post; In Touch Ministries; WikiHow):
(1) Examine your conscience. If you are troubled by something or someone, examine your conscience and ask yourself: “Did I do the right thing? What were my motives? Was I fair?”. And if you answered the questions honestly and determined that your action was righteous, then let the matter go and be at peace. But if you were not righteous, then change your behavior and make it right.
(2) Ask for God’s forgiveness. Peace with God is the foundation for peace in every other area of our lives. Jesus is the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6) and it’s only through a relationship with Him that we will ever experience true contentment. When we sin, we break that relationship. The way back is by repenting and asking God for forgiveness, after which let go of your guilt.
(3) Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparing and competing with other people is one of the fastest ways to lose your peace and joy. Accept who you are, without being jealous of someone else’s skills, attributes, achievements or possessions.
(4) Accept other people the way they are. As the joke goes: “How many psychiatrist does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: “One, but only if the light bulb really, really wants to change.” Stop trying to change other people. The only person we can change is our own self.
(5) Be kind. Studies found that being kind and generous actually make us happier, less likely to be depressed, decrease the stress hormone cortisol, promote mental health, increase our peace of mind, and even extend how long we live (New Republic; HuffPo). Here are some ways to be kind and generous:
◾Volunteer at your church, a senior center, an animal shelter, a soup kitchen or another community service organization.
◾Donate to a charity or worthy cause.
◾Help a friend or family member in need by listening to them and lessening their problem with your labor or money.
◾Let go of a grievance or grudge. No one is perfect; neither are we.
(6) Be grateful. Studies found that being thankful is not only good for our physical health, it is also good for our mental health. Gratitude decreases toxic emotions like envy, resentment, frustration, and depression, and increases happiness.
(7) Trust Him. God gave each of us a mind and the ability to reason and plan, which we are expected to use to good purpose. After we have done our utmost to be prudent and responsible, stop fretting and let it go. Put your trust in God — in His timing and purpose. As Proverbs 16:9 says: “A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.”
And may the peace of love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you!