Spiritual Changing Room

                        Spiritual Changing Room 
 
Colossians 3:1-17 

Apostle Paul’s letter to the new Christians in the city of Colossae addresses a group that has accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and has just started to bask in God’s glory, yet they continue to live an unaltered, non-Christian lifestyle. The Colossians are simply surface Christians, ones who claim the title, but who do not live the life. Sound familiar? 

Paul advises the Colossians, and us, that once we have accepted Jesus, son of God, by elevating our hearts and minds to Him, we must center ourselves in Him by disconnecting from earthly things. By properly aligning ourselves with Christ, we must cut off all earthly ties and traditions that we use for identification. We must strive to create ourselves in a new image, that of Christ. 

Take a moment and think about the things in your life that you look to for meaning, purpose, validation and satisfaction. Are all of these thoughts that come to mind Christ centered? If not, you have allowed that something or someone to take God’s place in your life. Paul specifically addresses our issues with idolatry by identifying sexual immorality, lust, evil desires and greed as common areas of concern. We are charged to rid ourselves of these idols that will only lead to frustration, anger, slander, filthy language and a depressed demeanor. 

These idols all have one thing in common – excess. God blesses us with many good things and he allows us the opportunity to enjoy those gifts, but he does not intend for us to focus on accumulating them. The gift of wealth is transformed to greed when we find joy in the accumulation of possessions or try to use the possessions as an identity. The gift of sexual intimacy is transformed to sexual immorality when we step beyond the single treasured relationship that God brings together and search for multiple sources for external sexual encounters. Either idol will leave you unsatisfied and disappointed because these extremes make terrible gods. 

Paul asks us to put on new garments that allow us to have compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. He instructs us cover our heart with a tunic of forgiveness that shows we have forgiven any grievances from the past just as the Lord has forgiven us. He advises us to bind all the pieces together with a belt of love that serves to unify and bring peace. Finally cover yourself with a cloak of gratitude and present your newly adorned self to God singing songs of praise and thanksgiving. 

Therefore, it is time for us to change our clothing. Let us vow to use this Lenten Journey to disrobe our bodies of the stained, torn and threadbare goods that are hanging from our being and put on the glorious new vestments that Jesus Christ provides, for we are all children of God. 

Reflection:

1. What steps can we take to avoid converting our blessings to idols? 

2. What items of clothing are you going to focus on changing this Lenten Period?