The early church of Colossae was filled with new believers from many opposing and diverse backgrounds. Paul tells us they were Greeks and Jews, barbarians and Scythians, slaves and freemen—all united only by their hope in Christ. These very different peoples were a new family of Christ-believers who collided with each other’s ethical, cultural and ethnic differences. While they were filled with the joy of being remade in the image of Christ (Colossians 2.10-12), they were also incredibly vulnerable to relational friction, bickering, complications and division.
It’s the nature of families to have wonderful joy while simultaneously experiencing problematic and complicated relationships. There are the joys of having children, job advancements, new homes and locations that bring fulfillment and satisfaction. Yet these same things bring disagreements, stress, anger and those thoughts and actions Paul says to “put to death” (Colossians 3.8-9).
Biological and church families are quite similar. To remain strong, we need a unified focus and purpose. That purpose is to become like the Christ. Paul gives us five characteristics of Jesus that put to death self-serving thoughts and actions: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. These should affect the way we see and treat others—and the way we get along.
As you begin the week, listen below as Pastor Manion recites the passage and identify what you find most compelling. Write in your The New You Journal (click here for a PDF version) something God points out to you.