Sunday, August 04, 2013

Take charge of thoughts and actions

 TODAY'S SPECIAL: Colossians 3:1-17

TO CHEW ON: "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Colossians 3:17

To what extent are we responsible for our thoughts, emotions and the actions that spring from them? Is there ever a time where we could say we were helpless to curb actions provoked by rage, jealousy, covetousness etc.?

Paul writing to the Colossians would say "No." Using words that indicate we are responsible for the way we react and relate to others, he lays out at least four ways in which we can take charge of our emotions and our actions:

1. We need to put off some things (apekduomai = to strip off from oneself): anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language, lying, the old man and his deeds. It sounds so easy, as if one could just peel off, like an outfit of clothes, these habitual ways of feeling and reacting. In reality, it takes time, focus and effort. Like all actions, these "old man" ones start in our minds. So we need to start by tossing the rags of angry and malicious and blasphemous and filthy and lying thoughts into the trash.

2. We need to put on some things (enduo = to clothe or be clothed with, in the sense of sinking into a garment): the "new man" with his attitude of mercy, long-suffering, bearing with others, forgiveness, love.

3. We need to let peace rule in our hearts (brabeus from brabeuo = to act as umpire). This is how I see it working: I perform an action, say I react impatiently while I'm in the lineup at the supermarket. Later, as I reflect on my day, I sense dis-ease. Why this un-peace, I ask myself. Then I remember my impatient reaction and realize I need to come to terms with such impatience. The lack of peace is the umpire that declares something is "foul" and brings me face to face with things I need to deal with and dispose of.

4. We need to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly (enoikeo = dwell, inhabit). As we marinate in God's word (read it, memorize it, think about it, apply it, talk about it), we gain wisdom. The evidence of such a word-saturated life is an encouraging attitude that instructs with a wise heart and a worshiping mouth (Colossians 3:17).

It all builds toward the goal of "whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person" (Colossians 3:17 - Amplified).

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to work Your plan in my life today. Make me alert to the things I need to put off, and willing to dress myself in right ways of thinking and acting. Help me to saturate myself with Your word and be sensitive and obedient to the umpire of Your peace. Amen.

Do your 8-12-year-olds have daily devotions? Point them to Bible Drive-Thru.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...