The Apostle Paul said, "Let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as an umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds]" (Colossians 3:15 AMP).
Imagine a baseball game played between two highly competitive teams without an umpire. It doesn't take an avid baseball fan to realize that the game would quickly erupt in chaos. Each team would insist that the questionable plays be decided to their advantage and would stretch the limits of the rules in their favor. It is in the interest of both teams to empower someone impartial to bring order and keep the game moving on toward its goal.
An umpire is one called on when there is a disagreement; to settle a controversy or question between parties — a person selected to decide all disputed points.
As long as we're on this earth, we will always experience opposition, obstacles, and decisions, but a powerful gift from God can make our responses easier. And when people hurt and oppose us we can allow the supernatural peace make the call in the situation.
The fact is that as long as we live on the earth other people are going to do things that can hurt and disappoint us. But before we ever get hurt or disappointed, we can choose to let peace rule in these situations and we won't be harmed. Peace will keep hurt at arm's length.
Sometimes it takes a great deal of effort to keep from being hurt by others. The way to stay protected from hurt is to yield to and draw from the fruit of the spirit: peace. When peace reigns in our hearts it will ensure unbroken companionship with the Lord.
How do we let peace serve as an umpire in times of disappointment? We must choose to forgive and turn the problem over to the Lord. Notice what Jesus said:
"And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions" (Mark 11:25, 26 NAS).
We know we have truly forgiven when peace fills our hearts. The writer of Hebrews gives us further instructions: "Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14 NAS).
Guarding our hearts from hurt and disappointment may require making a confession like this over and over: "I will not be hurt. I love God's Word so I won't be offended. I choose to forgive." Although this may require some repeated attempts, the effort is well worth it, and the alternative is costly.
We must refuse to give in to our flesh and forgive those who have wronged us. Taking the path of unforgiveness may find us rejecting God's help.
- Excerpt from the
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