Anthem Denver is part a family of churches. The Anthem family of churches is united around shared mission, vision, values, and submission to the Lordship of King Jesus.
As I read through Colossians, it’s so important to remember that these letters from Paul in the Bible are letters to actual people who make up these churches in various places. These people had struggles, victories, contextual challenges that applied to their area, etc. These were people who needed encouragement and correction from Paul, their brother in Christ.
But how often do I seek out encouragement, and bypass correction from my brothers and sisters? I can imagine that the Colossian church may have recoiled a bit when Paul tells them, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices” (Colossians 3:5-9).
If Paul were to have called me out on my sin like this so directly, I would have been so defensive! I would have thrown every excuse in the book at him: “You don’t know what I’m dealing with! You don’t get the circumstances! It was one time!” But the heart behind each excuse is the same: don’t tell me I’m wrong. That I’m messed up. That I sinned against God. However, isn’t it the kindness of God to tell us when we’re wrong? It’s like driving down a busy street and you see a sign that says “WRONG WAY!” If we weren't given that sign, we’d be in danger as we drive the opposite direction of oncoming traffic!
God is not only kind to tell us when we’re wrong, but He is increasingly kind to tell us how to live instead: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 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” (Colossians 3:12-16).
God is not only kind to correct us, but He gives us a better way to live. A way that is refreshing to our souls, instead of feeling like a weight is tied around our necks. So as we look at this passage to the Colossian church, remember: these are people too. Broken. Struggling. Trying to figure out how to live the Christian life. Sounds a lot like us today. In what ways is God correcting you and encouraging you today? Accept both those things with gratitude because it truly is God’s kindness to give you both.