3:1 So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
3:2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth,
3:3 for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
3:4 When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.
3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry).
3:6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient.
3:7 These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life.
3:8 But now you must get rid of all such things–anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth.
3:9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices
3:10 and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator.
3:11 In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!
Every goal for a true believer should be that we look forward to the day that we spend eternity with Christ. All that we do should be done in the light of eternity. No matter what blessings or hardships may come, we know that it is all temporary and nothing that we experience is going to last because we were meant to one day be in God’s presence in Heaven forever.
One thing that I think Christians struggle with is living for the moment and for the temporary. We never stop to think or ask what does this situation mean compared to what eternity will look like? When we face hardships, we know that there is always an end to it. When we face good times, we also know that there will be an end to it. When we think about life in comparison to what Heaven will be like, it should fill our hearts with joy to know that one day we will not have to put up with the hard times that this earthly life gives us.
This passage gives us the challenge to start practicing putting off temporary pleasures and start pursuing things that are more of eternal value. Instead of anger let us pursue calmness, instead of wrath let us pursue forgiveness, instead of slander let us pursue speaking with love. Francis Chan wrote a book on Marriage called “You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity” and he said a quote that I think can be applied to all areas of life and not just marriage. He says “Eternal-mindedness keeps us from silly arguments. There’s no time to fight. We have better things to pursue than our interests. Too much is at stake! God created us for a purpose. We can’t afford to waste our lives. We can’t afford to waste our marriage by merely pursuing our own happiness.”
Let us pursue life in the light of eternity. Let us practice love, kindness, joy, peace, and self control. Let us be characterized by our pursuit to finding joy in Christ alone and not wasting time being occupied my temporary pleasures. Let us make Christ enough for us to live out each moment, day by day.
Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). (Colossians 3:5)
But now you must get rid of all such things–anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. (Colossians 3:8)
Paul makes a number of lists in the New Testament. Colossians 3 contains two lists that are excellent guidelines to keep ourselves in check every day. At the beginning and end of each day we need to ask ourselves, have we rid ourselves of anger? Do we have malice in our hearts? Have we spoken kind or abusive words? Have we placed our hearts and minds on the things of God or the desires of man?
[Featured image from www.christianglobe.com]