“So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you…” Colossians 3:5a NLT
Sorry if you were expecting a happy Christmas blog today…
All of Colossians Chapter 3 is kind of “smack you in the face” scripture. Jasmine (the LifeSongs Social Media Director) pulls from this chapter often as she prepares the Uplifting Word of the Day. So I’ve read it. And re-read it. And will likely keep re-reading it until I die because it is so potent. Last time through, this little nugget stood out to me:
“So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you…”
Lurking. Within. You.
I feel that in my bones. I don’t want sin in my life. I don’t want to struggle with things like sexual immorality or evil desires or greed (all things listed in Colossians 3). And yet… there they are. LURKING. WITHIN. ME.
And I’m not talking hyperbole, here. Those literal sins are always there, ready to trip me up. Imagine Gollum (Where my LOTR nerds at!?) constantly slinking behind you as you live life, ready to make life miserable as soon as you let your guard down. That’s what sin is like …
Colossians 3 goes on to offer the instructions for HOW to put to death all that sin in our hearts and while it isn’t super easy to do, it is super awesome. It takes some effort, sure – but we are supposed to “..Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.”
It also says “..Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” (Verse 14)
The metaphor of putting on armor or clothes that represent Love, patience, kindness – this idea is scattered throughout the Bible and I’m so grateful for it. It is something simple that I can do to grow closer to Jesus. I can put on my favorite flannel shirt – let’s call that Love. I can swaddle myself in a hoodie of Kindness. The character of Jesus is not my default setting but God says I can still access it – I can put it on!
Christmas is a season of warm sweaters and corduroy and flannel – clothing-wise, it’s my jam. My prayer for you and I is that we would also “clothe ourselves with love” as we greet each day, representing Jesus to a world that is hurt and scarred – even though we are also hurt and scarred. The world is full of people who take a pass at being their best so they can dwell in self-pity. Let’s put that attitude “to death” and go “be renewed as [we] learn to know [our] Creator and become like Him.”