Rid Yourself

Colossians 3: 8

But now you also, rid yourselves of all of them: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene speech from your mouth.

This is key language, certainly. I have been thinking quite a lot lately about what our faith requires of us. If I call myself a Christian, is there more to it than my salvation? I mean, that is what the Father and Jesus did for me. They saved me from an eternity of damnation and torture. I accepted their free gift and Jesus’ lordship. That allows me to call myself a Christian. But then, if I have submitted myself to the lordship of Jesus, what does that mean? Is there more to the Christian ethos and life than simply that I have my ticket to heaven?

Clearly Paul used this letter to the Colossians to teach them how they should behave. There is more to his lesson than just this verse, but this is very important portion. These are the characteristics which are repugnant to the Christian lifestyle and should be alien to our hearts. Were I you, I would look up these words and understand the fullness of them. That is exactly what I did. Definitely think about each of them. Take time to ponder them one at a time.

This isn’t only a self-check; it is also a lesson. As we mediate on these words, we should begin to build a paradigm about the Christian lifestyle. A picture should begin to form in our minds of what it means to be a Christian, not only for ourselves but for the church at large. Who are we? What are we meant to be? How should the church be clothed? How do we present ourselves to the world? Though none of us are perfect, any expression of any of these five behaviors ought to be the rare exception. We have a responsibility to build the church according to the principles that Jesus laid out for us. So, this isn’t just about you and me. It is about the expectation we communicate to the church. It is about us as leaders requiring those who profess to be children of God to uphold certain values. It is about our leadership molding the church in this image.

We must be individually and collectively transformed into the image of God’s dear son. That transformation is our responsibility. We don’t overcome worldly behavior though an act of our will power but rather by the surrender to the love of Christ. The more time we spend in the company of Jesus, the more distasteful anger, wrath, etc. become to us. Let the church shine in Jesus’ glory, putting aside these worldly expressions and behaviors.