I found myself back in Colossians today for this morning’s reading and meditation time. I continued into Chapter 3, which in my reading is broken into two different headings:
- Rules for Holy Living
- Rules for Christian Households
Sometimes I hear people attack the Bible for it’s “rules”. I think we all, believer and non-believer alike, have probably attacked or scoffed at the rules even if we’ve done it secretly. Maybe just a simple refusal to follow. That inside rebellious voice (that I must assume sounds very much like a child on the verge of throwing an all out temper tantrum) says “Well, it doesn’t REALLY mean that because I know better and that was written too long ago to apply to what I want today.”
Maybe I’m standing all alone in admitting I have been there and done that, however, I doubt it.
The point is rules are often times good. The best rules we will ever have to follow are the ones our Lord has provided for us. Rules, commandments, guidelines, whatever you want to refer to them as, the realty is He has told us over and over again that His commandments and rules are always for our betterment.To uplift us, grow us, and keep us from the evil one who seeks only to destroy us. Maybe it’s because I have a lot of personal life changes going on right now, maybe it’s because I haven’t been caring as much about His “rules” as I should, either way, this is where I found myself drawn to this morning.
In this text we are encouraged to set our hearts and minds “above“. The temptation to make our focus earthly things is intoxicating. Yet, the reality is, all earthly things are going to pass. The money we may neglect our families to earn so we can “provide better for them” is going to pass. Yet setting our hearts and minds above, spending the time with our families in love and peace and guidance to give them encouragement in a walk with Christ, that’s something that will hopefully far outlive our salary.
We are advised the things of our “earthly nature” we must “put to death” and “rid” ourselves of. Sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language. We are also advised we are not to lie to each other. We are now a New Self, being renewed in knowledge in the image of our Creator, our Lord. If we honestly reflected on our past and looked at many of the difficult memories we have, those things which cause us pain, I’m sure we could boil much of it down to the actions of ourselves and others residing in our “earthly nature”. When we were giving in to our earthly nature, lying, angry, full of malice, slandering others, greedy, lustful, etc. we caused ourselves pain. Others caused us pain when they were living in their earthly nature. Granted, we cannot expect the lost to not live in their earthly nature, my thought is simply that my God loves me, and in His love for me He does not want to see me doing these things which He knows will hurt me. Also, if I do these things, if I live in my earthly nature after knowing my Lord, I could very well turn someone who is lost away from Him. That they would see my actions and see no difference and have no reason to want to know Him. Wow.
Christ is all, and is in all. We are called to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. To bear with each other and to forgive one another as the Lord forgave us. And that over all of this, we are to put on love so to bind it together in perfect unity. To have the peace of Christ rule in our hearts. To be thankful. To let the word of Christ dwell in us richly. That all things we do to be in the name of our Savior and giving thanks to our God through our Savior.
Am I doing this? Am I letting the word of Christ dwell within me richly? Am I waking up and starting my days on my knees asking the Lord to clothe me appropriately to step out into the world? Honestly, I haven’t. Yet, I’m seeing where I need to, and that most importantly, I want to.
Lastly, this chapter looks at some rules for the household. Family is so important, so very very important. Wives are called to submit to their husbands as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands are called to love their wives and not be harsh with them. Children are called to obey their parents, and father’s are called to not embitter their children. Everything we do we are called to work at it with all of our heart, because we are working for the Lord, not for men. We are serving the Lord and our inheritance will be from the Lord, not from men. Which brings it all back to keeping our focus upward, not earthward.
I feel like for me, this chapter really lays on my heart who I am. I am a daughter in Christ. I am called to turn away from the earthly focus and have a heavenly eternal focus. To clothe myself appropriately, binding it all in love. To forgive and not hold onto an earthly nature. To remember that there are some rules, some commandments the Lord has given to us, because of His overwhelming love for us, to protect us, to uplift us, to grow us.
I think it’s time for me to do some growing.