Read Colossians 3:12-17
I don’t look at our reading today from the lens of being offended, I look at it from the lens of doing the offending.
It prompts me to go before the Lord and ask for forgiveness for all of the times, whether recent or not, that I have not shown the characteristics in these verses. When we are fully surrendered followers of Jesus, there is a different priority that is placed in front of us… people.
If that is our priority, how often do we fall short?
Having been offended with remarks from others with comments ranging from how I look to how I worship, I take it before the Lord. I remember that who I am is WHOSE I am. What someone thinks of my features or the opinions they may have of my expressions in song should hold no weight in comparison to who Jesus says I am:
“Chosen…holy and beloved…”.
How we respond to others who should hold the same standard and priority of life as us is an exact representation of our maturity and walk of faith.
I say this because of what Paul writes to the church of Colossae.
Here is a church of about 50 who have been struggling with their identity and the world around them screaming false teaching and culture into their lives.
Paul is reminding them of WHOSE they are, what they are capable of because of Christ, that they are to hold their foundation in the word.
Paul gives us characteristics to actively put on in response to one another, and I will be the first one to admit that I fail at this. The Lord teaches us that His spirit is our helper and is available. It is through His strength, His power, that we can put these on and wear them for, not only the lost, but for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Something I love about my hometown in Florida is that about 10-20 pastors from many different churches in the county get together each month for fellowship and prayer. These men get together, not out of obligation, but because they know that they are one body, called to bring Jesus to the lost, called to make disciples who make disciples. They are all working toward the same goal.
Paul is reminding the church of Collosiea and us that we need to dwell within God’s Word. We need to dwell within His truth. If we are surrounded by the noise, lies, opinions, comments of others, words and actions, how will we ever grow into the person He has intended for us to be?
I challenge you, as the one who has been offended, walk through these verses again: how can you respond back to the person who offended you? How can you respond back to the Lord?
I challenge you, as the one who has offended, walk through these verses again, go before the Lord, surrender your ways and open your life to starting anew with the character you are called to in Christ.