Colossians 3 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. Especially when I read it in The Message version [by the way! I totally recommend The Message. I love my NVI, and the KJV is the version in which I’ve memorized most verses, but when I want to get a clear picture of what God’s saying, I use The Message.]. And I absolutely love how Paul starts Colossians 3.
“So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it.”
How do you act like it? Let’s break down Colossians 3:1-8
“So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.”
(Colossians 3:1-4 MSG)
If you are a believer, yay! Your old life no longer exists. You have a brand-new life. Christ is your life. And if you’re serious about this life, act like it. Set your mind on things above. Not on what’s happening down here on earth. Not looking at things on Pinterest all day [guilty!]. Not spending a whole Saturday on Netflix. Not following celebrities’ lives. It’s not that those things are bad, it’s not that you should ignore them, but that you should focus on heaven. When those things take up a lot of your time, when they become a distraction, that’s when they can become harmful to your relationship with Christ. They can keep you away from spending time with Him, from seeking what is eternal. Because, you know, we’re spending the rest of our lives in eternity. We need to learn about God, about the place we’ll be in, and about what God’s plans are for us, among other things. We need to spend time reading God’s word, and not only reading it, but meditating on it as well. How can you prepare for the place you’ll be in for the rest of your life if you don’t read the guidebook? Spend time with God, reading his word, meditate on it, think about it. Apply it to your life. It will help you grow. Make time for it. Don’t let earthly things get in the way of your growth as a Christian.
How do you grow?
“And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. It’s because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger. It wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.”
(Colossians 3:5-8 MSG)
I think these verses sum up that question really well. Stay away from what hinders your growth. Stay away from what was part of your old life. Out with the old. [In with the new. Goodbye clouds of gray, hello skies of blue. A dip in the pool…was I the only one who thought about High School Musical 2? Let’s pretend this didn’t happen.]
You can’t live a holy life when you are doing what you were doing in your old life. You know better now. I love how Lauren from The Fulltime Girl puts it:
“If we have truly chosen to be the Bride, why are we still living like we are single? Let’s say a girl got married. It was a beautiful wedding and they were so in love. However, the day after the marriage, she went back home to live with her parents. She slept in her old bed, and ate her parent’s food, and drove her parent’s car. Sure, she was married. She had taken his last name, but she wasn’t committed.
That is all too often what we do with Christ. We claim to be a “Christian” in name, and yet, we listen to the same music we used to listen to, watch the same old tv shows we used to watch, do and say the same old things we used to do when we were not ‘Christian.’ “
If you are a Christian, act like it. If Christ is in your life, act like it. You are not who you were. The old you is dead. The habits that characterized your old life don’t exist anymore. You’re holding yourself to new standards. You view your life in a new, different way because you have a new, different life. Set your mind on things above.
You are not who you were. Act like it.
What are your thoughts on Colossians 3?