In today’s busy world where each of us– as parents, students, citizens– are pulled in so many different directions, it is sometimes difficult to determine what really matters in life. It can certainly be hard to keep our focus as we are bombarded on a daily basis with expectations and responsibilities from all sides.
In Paul’s letter to the Colossians, (chapter 3) I believe he summarizes for us what really matters. He is writing to tell believers–those who have been “raised with Christ”– what sins should be avoided and then what characteristics should be evident in their lives as believers. My NIV version happens to title this section, “Rules for Holy Living”.
Here are Paul’s instructions to the people at Colosse:
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord, Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:12-17. (NIV)
So, what really matters?
compassion…kindness…humility…gentleness…patience…forgiveness…love…unity…peace…worship…gratitude…and giving glory and honor to Jesus Christ in everything we do.
When you parent, do it with patience and love.
When you serve on the praise team, or teach, or speak, do it with humility.
When you see a need in your community, meet it with compassion and kindness.
When someone hurts your feelings or is unkind to you, forgive them.
When you are materially blessed (as so many of us are here in America in contrast to much of the world), show gratitude.
And in everything you do, give glory to Jesus Christ, pointing others towards Him at every opportunity.
Does this seem unattainable to you? Well, guess what, in our own strength, it is! It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that we, as human beings, can live a life of beauty, peace, and grace in a world of rampant sin and ugliness.
2 Peter 1:3 tells us, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
As you go through your week this week, pray for the grace and beauty of Christ to be evident in your life. As a believer, you have the Holy Spirit power inside of you to impact the world, starting with your own precious family. Focus on what really matters. Plug in and shine bright!