TODAY’S SCRIPTURE – Colossians 3:1-17
There seems to be trending on cable television several SELF-IMPROVEMENT shows. Some of the appeal I think is the DESIRE to make some changes in our own lives. Also, some of the appeal is seeing others being able to make the needed changes.
There’s a show called What Not To Wear on TLC. It’s interesting to watch friends and family rat out a loved one as one who has no style and then the show secretly films the offender. Then the offender is confronted by the hosts of the show with the chance to change what they wear and given a $5000 pre-paid Visa Card to get a new wardrobe.
I’m certainly NOT a fashionista, but really, you should see some folks sense of style. Almost always it’s a lady who needs to make a change. I guess us men have an instinctive sense of style (NOT!).
I’m thinking that most who are reading this have something you would like to change about yourself. I would like to lose 10-15 pounds myself.
Let’s consider our life with Christ for a moment,
How many of us are totally happy with where we are in our RELATIONSHIP with Jesus?
When we give our lives to Christ, we hear about this NEW LIFE God wants us to have.
John 10:10, Jesus tells us that “I came that they [you] may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).”
But it doesn’t seem to be happening the way we think it should be.
You’re going to have to realize that in order to be able to make those changes about yourself, you actually have to change some things in your life!
For instance, if I want to lose weight, I have to change my eating habits, my exercise habits (currently, no habits here!), along with my attitudes concerning food.
Without CHANGING these specific areas of my life, the weight is not coming off. No miracle cure is going to change my weight without me changing some things.
THERE IS NO NEED FOR “WHAT NOT TO WEAR” POLICE…the truth is, what we WEAR daily will have an effect on our lives.
What we WEAR can help us or hinder us.
For one to grow in Christ we need to realize there are some things we ought NOT to WEAR in a figurative sense. We all need to rid ourselves of some or our entire current wardrobe so that we can really TRANSFORM our image of Christ.
Colossians 3:5-7 (PHILLIPS):
On so far, then, as you have to live upon this earth, consider yourselves dead to worldly contacts: have nothing to do with sexual immorality, dirty mindedness, uncontrolled passion, evil desire, and the lust for other peoples’ goods, which last, remember, is as serious a sin as idolatry. It is because of these very things that the holy anger of God falls upon those who refuse to obey him. And, never forget that you had your part in those dreadful things when you lived that old life.
FIRST, WE NEED TO CLOSELY EXAMINE WHAT’S IN OUR CLOSET
One of the most difficult things for people on the TV show to do is get rid of the old wardrobe…snake skin tights and pink boots. They gotta go!
They need a wakeup call, and the wakeup call on the show is a 360-degree mirror, a truth teller. It helps make the fashion offender realize that they need to look at changing what they wear.
After the view in the mirror, the hosts of the show go through their closet and throws almost everything in a nearby trash can.
Well, the Apostle Paul gives us a list of items that need to be taken out of our closet and throw in the trash can.
- WE NEED to throw out the old clothing that no longer fits
- WE NEED to realize that we are DEAD to the old life; we’ve outgrown many of the items hanging in our closet.
In VERSE 5, we are told literally “put to death” these things.
To consider DEAD means we’re to hold these items in check, restrain them. Left unrestrained, they will lead us in the wrong direction.
If you look at VERSE 3 casually, we are told that we have DIED with Christ Jesus…BUT here we are told to consider our members of our earthly body as DEAD! Remember, someone who is DEAD is no longer aroused by the world around them.
This VERSE should remind us that WE have a part to play in our WALK with God.
We need to toss out the clothing that no longer reflects who we are in Christ.
In VERSE 5 we are given a LIST of things that we are to consider ourselves DEAD too.
IMMORALITY deals predominantly with sexual sin. The word is the same word we get “pornography” from.
1 Thessalonians 4:3 (GNT)
 “God wants you to be holy and completely free from sexual immorality.”
This list includes impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed. All of these deal with getting what we want.
The list is actually in reverse order…the root of all these issues is GREED!
GREED is the overmastering desire for what belongs to another; it includes the breaking of the laws of right and justice in order to obtain them for oneself.
It’s the relentless urge to get more. This is really the ROOT of the rest.
We must move in the direction of pleasing our heavenly Father rather than ourselves.
God isn’t against SEX, but SEX outside of MARRIAGE is wrong, no exceptions!
As long as we live in a fallen world, we’ll struggle with these issues. The last part of VERSE 5 tells us that these things amount to IDOLATRY.
When we REJECT the true and living God of the Bible, we make up one of our own imagination, and we make our desires, appetites, and lusts our god by the deification of them.
WE NEED TO THROW OUT THE OLD CLOTHING that hampers our growth!
The THINGS listed in VERSE 5 are to be a part of the OLD LIFE. This is the reason for us to put SIN to death in our lives.
We now walk with God and what WE WEAR should reflect that!
Colossians 3:8-9 (NIV)
WE NEED TO DEVELOP A NEW ATTITUDE ABOUT WHO WE ARE IN JESUS.
VERSES 8-9 really deal with issues that have their roots placed in our attitudes.
We are told that we are in need of putting some old attitudes in the “trash can.” And don’t worry, there’s plenty of room in the can!
To put aside, or rid yourselves means to take off–like taking off clothing.
Each of these ATTITUDES if left unchecked will build upon one another.
ANGER is a deep smoldering bitterness…leads to REVENGE by which being bent on causing injury to another either physically or to their reputation.
ALL these things can lead to SLANDER and FILTHY SPEECH. We need to rid ourselves of these things.
There are many Christians who still to this day struggle with these attitudes.
Ephesians 4:29 The Message (MSG)
“Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.”
It’s easy to focus on the EVILS of verse 5 and then forget about the EVILS in verse 8. It may be more difficult for us to deal with BECAUSE…WE can always rationalize our corresponding actions. “THEY MADE ME MAD!”
Bad ATTITUDES lead to bad actions!
VERSE 9 encourages us not to LIE to one another.
When we harbor bad things in the heart, they will come out in our actions.
If you find yourself struggling with ANGER issues, don’t just sweep them under the carpet. Don’t rationalize your ANGER.
Our ATTITUDE towards others needs to reflect who we are in Christ Jesus.
We are called and obligated to treat others in a Christ-like manner, even if they don’t deserve it!
Colossians 3:9-11 New International Version (NIV)
We need to rid our closets of things that don’t line up with who we are in Christ.
If you go from digging ditches to being a salesman, be wise to get rid of the work clothing that you used to wear daily as a ditch digger and replace it with clothing that matches up with the new job.
I remember when I went from driving a plumbing supply truck to working in the sales office and I had to do the same thing.
Our new purpose in Christ is to be RENEWED to the true knowledge of Christ.
We can’t be RENEWED to the true knowledge of Him if we don’t know anything about Him.
We need to rid ourselves of the CLOTHING that doesn’t reflect our RENEWED PURPOSE. By obtaining knowledge of Christ and His will through His Word found in the Bible, our spiritual being is being changed into the likeness of Jesus.
We learn to feel, act and think like Christ!
Romans 12:2 (NIV)
 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. [Capitalization for emphasis by the Word Detective]
Our ultimate purpose in life is to be TRANSFORMED into the IMAGE of Jesus!
2 Corinthians 3:18 (AMP)
And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being TRANSFORMED into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.
That is our calling! Anything that we figuratively WEAR that hinders, THAT needs to be thrown out!
The way some of the people on the TV Show would dress often hindered their advancement chances at their job. IF we choose to WEAR the STUFF from our old life as described in our passage of Scripture; we will be severely hindered in our TRANSFORMATION.
TACKY IS IN THE EYES OF THE BEHOLDER.
It amazes me what some people will wear and thinks looks great. It seems as though they are the ONLY ones in the room who cannot see it.
Are you one of those TACKY DRESSERS who wear things such as:
- Sexual immorality,
- Evil desire,
DO you wear things such as…
- Obscene talk (dirty talk) coming from your mouth?
IF you do, others can see and hear it and it’s time to put on some NEW clothing.
Wikipedia What Not to Wear (U.S. TV series); http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/what-not-to-wear
Photos: Google Image Search/Advance settings.
Bible Translations: New International Version (NIV) except where noted.