What rules your heart?

I don’t remember a time in my life when another person sat down with me for a lesson about the necessity to worry.  I don’t remember any lesson about the need for anxiety in my life.

I don’t remember them because worry and anxiety find their way into our lives naturally.  We have an ability to care too deeply about the wrong things in life.  This obsession can lead one into an attempt at grabbing the reigns of the situation and control the outcomes.  For me, these attempts often bring chaos into the lives of other people.  Through my worry and anxiety, I don’t actually control anything including myself.

In those moments, regardless of the frequency, I think we play in the hand of Satan and his armies.  If our worry and anxiety causes a lack of self-control and self-discipline, we have deserted the Fruit of the Spirit.  If our worry and anxiety brings chaos to other people, we have deserted the Fruit of the Spirit.

Followers of Jesus know the Fruit of the Spirit to be found in Galatians 5:22-23, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”.

The Fruit of the Spirit is singular; it’s a whole package. Each component of the package is overcome by worry and anxiety.

Here is one verse to consider throughout today.  Colossians 3:15 says, “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.”  Of course, this verse is wrapped around several other verses that speak about our conduct as followers of Jesus.

In the next month, our schedules will be filled with shopping, parties, family gatherings, internet searches for the perfect gift, school Christmas programs, overcommitment, and it seems the list goes on.  How would this month of Christmas be different if you and I let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts?  How would this month be different without the worry and anxiety so many people experience between Thanksgiving and Christmas?

Do all the things that you love about this season because you want the peace of Christ to rule the season.  I want to suggest that people remember how we conducted ourselves far longer than the gifts we gave them.

When you think about allowing the peace of Christ to rule this season, remember this peace is the security associated with God’s presence among his people.  If this peace rules your heart, you will give it to others this season.  All of us need a little caution and a large pause at Christmas time.

What’s in your heart?  Peace or worry and anxiety?  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts today.