Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Way We Live

Colossians 1:10

"Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better." NLT

When I began studying the book of Colossians, I had the focus of the fact the church in Colosse struggled with Gnosticism was trying to make its way into the church.  The culture in Colosse enjoyed different philosophies, and Gnosticism was a belief that was prevalent in the culture.  So much of what Paul wrote was refuting the confusion that Gnosticism could cause in the church.  Knowing this, I was challenged to consider what is happening in my culture that would affect the local church.  I also looked at how so many of the truths that are written about in the book of Colossians is counter cultural.

The first thing that I want to look back at is Colossians 1:10 and see how this is different from the way our culture tells us to live.  In verse 9, Paul writes how he has been praying for the Colossian church that they would continue to grow in wisdom and understanding of God's will.  Then in verse 10 we see that it is so we will know how to live in a way that honors and pleases God.  We learn from these verses that living in a way that pleases God should be our goal and then we will grow as get to know God better.  This is a different message from the world, isn't it?

The world often tells us that it is important to do what is right for ourselves.  Our focus is on what makes us happy and what works best for our individual goals and rights.  The problem with that thinking is that we are only living for ourselves and that is eventually going to clash with someone else's right to be happy and thriving.  This really fights against the human vision of utopia because it is impossible for each of to have what we believe is our right.  For example, a person may feel like they have the right to burn whatever they want in their fire pit, but their neighbor feels that they have the right to breathe clean air.  The focus on ourselves will never make us happy, nor will we ever feel satisfaction.  However, if our focus is shifted to pleasing God we can finally find relief from the need to please our rights.  Verse 10 tells us that we will grow as we make God our focus and we will produce the kind of fruit that is good.  What a different way to think!  But it is such a freeing way to think.

How else does this way of thinking differ from what our culture tells us?

This post is linked with iFellowship Blog Hop, Word Filled Wednesday, and Winsome Wednesday.

7 comments:

  1. "The focus on ourselves will never make us happy, nor will we ever feel satisfaction. However, if our focus is shifted to pleasing God we can finally find relief from the need to please our rights."

    Amen!

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  2. The focus on ourselves will never make us happy, nor will we ever feel satisfaction. -- So true! Wonderful study :)

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  3. Hi Sharon - I heard it said once, and I probably have got it wrong, that in submitting to Christ we have no rights. If we behave as though we have no rights, we will make no demands. Self always demands. Great post and thanks for linking up. I love seeing you there
    God bless
    Tracy

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    1. I like that, Tracy! Thank you for sharing that.

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