Oct 17 — Colossians 3

Colossians 3 — Put On the New Self, Rules for Christian Households

Thoughts about serving others

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Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.

One Reply to “Oct 17 — Colossians 3”

  1. Paul provides several lists in Colossians, chapter 3, lists of things we must put aside, things we should not do anymore and things we should do “and over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:14).

    The list of “don’ts” seems obvious: “sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry” (3:5), followed by “anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language” (3:8); yet one of the biggest hits on TV these days, “Game of Thrones” (so I’m told) does just the opposite of Paul’s direction here and embellishes the very list which we should “put to death” (3:5). At the risk of sounding like a Pharisee, we should rid ourselves of “entertainment” that invites us to toy with thoughts that are far from Christ. Lord, do not let me find pleasure in such things, but help me to minister to those who do, drawing them to you and your grace. Help me to sing “to God with gratitude in [my] heart” (3:16), for I know fully that “Christ is all, and is in all” (3:11).

    The mutual submission described for healthy Christian households is great advice and something I pray to get better at every day! (3:18-4:1), though I am glad we are beyond the concept of slaves (3:22-4:1). I sometimes wonder if we have created modern day slavery in the work world, something like indentured servitude. Many people find no joy in work, yet must work in order to survive. How much different is this compared to the slave who works for a master for some years to repay a debt? In this context, Paul’s writing has direct application. At the risk of my own heresy, here’s a slightly different rendering of 3:22, “[Employees], obey your [employers] in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.” There have been times with I’ve made this application and I believe it showed the love of Christ to those who were far from Him.

    Another memory verse that became a song was 3:23: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for [men].” This is the way my dad raised me, with the assurance that if I followed this principal, “the cream will always rise to the top” (my dad’s favorite proverb). I pray that God will continue to give me the energy needed to serve here on earth, knowing my reward is from the Lord.

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