Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. (Colossians 3:15)
Decisions, decisions. We are faced with a never-ending list of them at work and at home.
Which candidate do I hire? Do I get my MBA or get a job? Do we move or stay?
As Christians evaluate decisions like these, there’s a phrase we often utter once we’ve made up our minds: “I just feel such a sense of peace about my decision.” Or conversely, if we’re having difficulty making a decision, we’ll say, “I just don’t feel at peace one way or another.”
But once we have that amorphous sense of peace, the discussion is over. One pastor hit the nail on the head saying, “When an internal sense of peace becomes the ultimate rationale for decision-making, no one can question you. It’s the ultimate mic drop—akin to saying God told you to do something.”
There are a few passages of Scripture people point to when claiming that we should wait for a feeling of peace before making a decision. Philippians 4:6-7 and 2 Thessalonians 3:16 are two of them. But perhaps the most common one is Colossians 3:15, which you read above.
The key to unlocking the meaning of this verse is understanding what the word translated “peace” here actually means. The Greek word Paul uses here is eirēnē which, according to Strong’s Biblical Concordance, suggests, “the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ.” It’s the exact same word Paul uses in Romans 5:1 when he says, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace [eirēnē] with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
In Romans 5:1 and Colossians 3:15, Paul isn’t promising a vague feeling of peace about specific decisions, but a concrete promise of peace with God that is secure regardless of which decisions we make. You and I don’t have to wait for a feeling of peace to overwhelm us before we make a decision. Paul is saying that you and I already have all the peace we need. We are adopted sons and daughters of God. We have peace with God and no decision can alter that status.
OK, so if an internal feeling of peace isn’t the end-all-be-all for making decisions, what can believers rely on when making hard choices?
First, we rely on God’s Word. If a decision would cause us to sin, it’s a non-starter, even if we have “peace” about our intention to disobey the Lord’s commands.
Second, we rely on wisdom from God’s people whom the Holy Spirit speaks through (see Matthew 10:20).
Finally, we rely on our God-given freedom to decide.
But let’s be honest: Finding the confidence to make decisions can be hard. Over the next three weeks, we will look at three biblical truths that can grow our confidence to make decisions at work and at home.