How are we supposed to live as God’s chosen ones? We have to know and accept that people are watching us. Ask, “do I make a good representative of Christ?” An important message to cling to is — God chose YOU. And with that honor comes responsibility. Paul reminds us, “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
Don’t let this “must” scare you off. Rather, be thankful for the advice you have been given. Chances are pretty good that you are already seeking to live a life that reflects these things. The Holy Spirit living inside us will certainly help when our human frailty fails. I know I’m certainly thankful for the Holy Spirit!
There is a lot of wisdom in this little section of Paul’s letter. Some of it may seem especially helpful in navigating a circumstance you are currently in. Perhaps, you can even see how you could have done a better job in a past life situation. As Timothy tells us in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” What we are reading today is a good reminder to help us, if we apply it going forward.
Living in peace and being thankful. If your life is busy and you feel like you are stretched so thin you’ll snap, living in peace sure sounds appealing. Peace is God’s desire for you. Try finding something you are thankful for (or a list of somethings). Focus on how God provides for you. Even in the chaos of life, you should start to feel peace from within when you approach that chaos with gratitude.
Your responsibility in this life is to love God and love others. All the extra stuff we cram into our lives often distracts us from what our priorities should be. I’m just as guilty as the next guy. I wish I could say I’ve mastered this. We are all a “work in progress.” The important thing is to be seeking God’s wisdom to make strides toward living a life that honors him.
“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives.” Are you willing to do this? It says “fill.” What kinds of things are you doing to let Jesus in? That’s only the first step. Next, we allow Jesus to take control and completely fill our lives. Paul even suggests Jesus can spill over and be shared with others. “Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.”
You may be thinking, “that sounds good–someday.” I’m not ready for utopia! Someday, I’ll have time to let Jesus fill me up. Right now, I’m too busy or focused on something else. If that’s you, take a moment to just sit with that thought. Why wait? Why not make Jesus a part of everything you do starting today?
I think that’s what Paul is suggesting here. To be truly alive and prepared to be good representatives for Jesus, we need to act in these ways. I’m just thankful I don’t need to try and figure it out. Paul’s counsel is so helpful. We can tap into the fruits of the Spirit that Paul teaches about in Galatians 5.
Take some time today to think through what one change you might make to your daily schedule to allow more opportunity to enjoy being filled with Jesus.
Let’s pray … Lord, I thank you for the privilege of being chosen by you. Thank you for how you equipped Paul to give me just the right message. I want to be filled up with your presence. I want to spend more time with you. I want to be more thankful for all the blessings and even challenges in my life. Mostly, I am just grateful for your love and desire to help me be the best I can be, and that’s with you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.