Author: Ron Graham
The Heart of the Christian
—Right attitudes taught in Colossians
The practice of Christianity involves right attitudes, several of which are found in the letter to the Colossians.
1 Rejecting Counterfeits of the Truth
"See that nobody takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men... rather than according to Christ". This encourages a healthy suspicion of what we are taught. Is it Christ's word or human tradition? If it is just man's philosophy, then reject it.
"Let nobody act as your judge in regard to food or drink, a festival, a new moon, or a sabbath day —these things are a shadow of what is to come". These are examples of man-made rules and regulations which ought not to be followed.
2 Setting Your Mind on Heavenly Things
"Keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth". This exhorts us to be spiritually minded and not to have a "mind set" that is materialistic.
Colossians 1:5,23 3:3-5
"...the hope laid up for you in heaven... be not moved away from the hope of your calling... when Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you too will be revealed with him in glory". These verses encourage us to make the hope of Heaven the driving force of our lives.
3 Clothing Yourself With Compassion
"Put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience... forgiving... and beyond all things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity". This encourages an attitude of tender mercy and forgiveness toward others.
Colossians 3:21 4:1
"Fathers do not exasperate your children, that they may not lose heart... Masters grant your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven". These are examples of how compassion and kindness are applied in daily life.
4 Letting the Peace of God Rule In Your Heart
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts... and be thankful". This both commands inner peace and gives the secret of it, namely being thankful. We promote peace within us and around us with an attitude of gratitude, appreciating our blessings instead of taking them for granted as our right.
5 Putting Your Heart Into Your Job
"Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus. Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men". This tells us to do our daily work well, just as though Jesus were our employer.
"Slaves in all things obey those who are your masters according to the flesh". Even slaves were expected to do their work heartily as unto the Lord.
6 Devoting Yourself to Prayer
"Devote yourselves to prayer... Epaphras... is always labouring earnestly for you in his prayers". This encourages a prayerful attitude, not relying on our own strength but taking our lives to God for his blessing and providence to help. We should pray likewise for others.
7 Being Wise Toward Outsiders
"Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, redeeming the time". This enjoins an attitude of carefulness in our actions toward outsiders, asking ourselves how our actions will influence them to follow Christ.