Colossians 3:16-25 contains a couple very important topics that Paul addresses. The first is a list of how we need to live together in harmony in the body of Christ. Paul tells us to:
- “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly
- teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom
- singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs
- with thankfulness in your hearts to God”
Scripture needs to dwell richly in us. That means we need to be in God’s Word, know His truth, meditate on it day and night, and have our lives totally consumed with knowing Him through His Word. Once we begin to know and understand His Word – we need to teach others what it says. We need to spew truth to all in our patch, and then admonish them to live it daily as their life. We need to push each other to be Christ Followers. We can do it in a happy way as we sing songs and hymns, which also normally reinforce God’s Word. It is another way for us to get deeper with God as we worship through music. And then we need to express thanks to God – not just quietly – but express it so all can see. These four things are critical in helping to grow the Body of Christ and to encourage each other in our walk as Christ Followers.
Paul then continues and gives some strong advice for how things need to work in the family and workplace. These are not suggestions, but they are God’s very plan for how things need to happen, and because we fail here, families are flying apart all over the place. Look carefully at Paul’s direction here:
- “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord
- Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them
- Children, obey your parents in everything
- Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged
- Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord”
This is some tough medicine for many to follow. But there is a reason for God’s design for the family. There is a reason Paul calls out these specific areas because this is where things break down. Women don’t want to submit, men don’t want to love and lead, kids don’t want to obey, fathers don’t train up their kids in love, and slaves (workers) don’t obey with a sincere heart. So things fall apart. The family and workplace disintegrate and bad things happen. Paul gives us the bottom line no matter what our place is today: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ”.
We don’t work for anyone but the Lord. He has given us clear instruction in how we are to live in the home and at work. He has given direction on the attitudes we must have. When we refuse to obey – when we do it our way and not His – we cannot blame anyone but ourselves when marriages fail, kids rebel, jobs end or other bad outcomes occur. These are not suggestions on how to live. These are God’s design. They are the way things are intended to happen. When we insist on doing things our way – we get our results – and those are nowhere close to what God intended. Are you living God’s way at home or at work? If not, there is no one else to blame than the person in the mirror!