What Rules In Your Heart?

Just as the person inside the cockpit controls everything about the plane, whatever rules in your heart will control everything about you.   

In Colossians 3:12-16, the Apostle Paul describes the gospel virtues we are to "put on" and live out because we have been redeemed and raised to spiritual life through Christ (Colossians 3.1ff).

12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness,humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

And the key has to do with what rules in our hearts. In the Bible, the heart is more than a vital organ -- it is the control center, the cockpit, the throne that controls everything about us (Prov. 4:23).

So Paul urges the Colossians -- and us -- to let the peace of Jesus rule in your hearts. Let the peace of Jesus run the show. That’s how you will forgive, love, and bear with one another.

How so?

Well, if the dominant reality of your inner life, thoughts, meditation, the thing you enjoy most is that that you have peace with God through Jesus when you deserved judgment, you will be a peacemaker with others. You will forgive others in the church like Jesus has done. Because the peace of Christ rules in your heart, it’s more than just a fact you can recite.

It’s in the cockpit, directing and changing you.

The problem is for most of us, too much of the time. The peace of Christ is just a dry fact and not ruling in our hearts, running the show, not operating from the cock pit.

And that’s why we struggle to live out the cause of Jesus together. There is something amiss in our hearts stopping us from loving God, others, and sharing God's Good News.


Something rules in your heart at all times. You can love Jesus truly but have moments and seasons where something lesser is on the throne of your heart, reigning and ruling.

What is it?

If self-righteousness rules in your heart, you will never bear with or forgive others – you’ll always look down on them because you feel better than them.

If arrogance rules in your heart, condescension will flavor every interaction with others.

If Your reputation rules in your heart, then fakeness and white lies with be the common thread of all your relationships. Your life and all your actions will be ruled by this question: "How will this make me look?"

If convenience rules in your heart, then you won’t live out the mission of Jesus because that takes too much time, too much hospitality, too much energy, too much awkwardness, too much unknown.

You’ll just try to make disciples yourself – or you’ll withdraw from relationships or the church when things are no longer convenient.

If religiosity rules in your heart, you’ll forgive, love others, and share Jesus only because you are supposed, but never from the heart.


What most controls how you think about and interact with others? Convenience? Superiority? Or Love?

What most controls how you think, feel, and fulfill Jesus’ call to grow as a disciple and make disciples?

What besides Jesus most often reigns and rules in your heart? How is the Gospel better?