Colossians 3:17 is the perfect culmination to verses 12-17. This portion of scripture is filled with admonitions of how to live a ‘good and pleasing’ Christian life. My friend Melrose has chosen verse 17 as her life favorite. Let’s see why this verse gives her such strength and guidance for living.
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. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Paul starts this section with ‘how to’ live for Jesus. He tells us to put on character attributes which I take to mean let these things be infused into your being and part of your character. He lists putting on- compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, tolerance, forgiveness and LOVE. He wants us to let peace of Christ reign in our hearts so we will work together in unity. Paul wants us to stay in the word teaching and encouraging one another and be genuine in our worship of God. Paul finishes with the admonition to let Christ be present in all our conversations, thoughts, deeds and interactions. He tells us to live each and every moment with Christ in our minds and with an attitude of gratitude in all things.
My friend who chose this verse endeavors to live this way. She is prayerful about what she says and does and has a heart for the lost. She is always looking for opportunities to witness to the love, forgiveness and salvation of her Savior. She is also a major prayer warrior and will willingly spend time in prayer for your needs. Is she perfect? No. But she presents a heart and attitude of gratitude towards God. She readily thanks Jesus and gives Him praise. To what result? She has the peace of Christ in her mind and heart, she loves others, she is valued by others and she is seen as genuine in her worship and love of God. Isn’t that what we all desire? Don’t we want to please our Savior and live for Him?
How about you and me? Do I live with gratitude in my heart or am I always thinking about what I lack? Do I seek to tell others about my amazing Savior? Do I seek to serve others and speak words that are free from gossip and slander? Living the Christian life is not easy but with verses like Colossians 3:17 as your guide and goal, you can keep your perspective in the right place.
Thanks Melrose for being wonderful a reminder of how Jesus wants us to live. You are an encouragement to me and my walk with Jesus!