Today we want to share a few verses from a longer passage of scripture that is often called “rules for holy living.” We always desire to give you verses in context because all meaning is context dependent. The third chapter of Colossians begins by stating that once we become followers of Jesus, the bar for what is acceptable is raised. Verse 2 of Colossians chapter 3 says this, “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” Verses 5 to 10 go on to list things we should “put to death” that belong to our earthly nature (things such as sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed, anger, rage, malice, and filthy language). Verse 11 tells us that Jesus transcends all barriers and that He unifies all people and distinctions between people groups no longer matter.
And now, getting to today’s verses, we are told “for that reason” (set your hearts and minds on things above, put to death your earthly nature, and no distinctions) we are to strive to live in unity with each other. In Colossians 3:12-14 we read –
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
Verses 15 and 16 then instruct us to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts and the word of Christ dwell in us to guide all we do. And this section wraps up in verse 17 with these words, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
So today, we ask you to reflect upon these verses and ask yourself this question, “Is there someone I need to offer forgiveness to so that I can begin to experience the freedom that comes with living in unity with those around me?” A good way to start each day is by asking God to help you live in peace with others, both those whom it is easy to live in harmony with and also those with whom it is not so easy.
And remember, it is not just others who fall into that not so easy to live in peace with category, you too probably are in the not so easy category to at least one other person.