Man Oh Man, It’s Time For The New One

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;  bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

— Colossians 3:12-17

This passage really could not have come at a better time. The preparation week of Lent is coming to an end, and fully-fledged Lent is upon us. It is now the time to put our proverbial money where our mouths are and make a real change in how we are living our lives. I decided to take this passage and break it down, virtue by virtue and self-reflect, and I would encourage you to do the same. Here we go:

  • Tender mercies: not just mercy, but tender mercy; that’s a whole other level of mercy. Have I been merciful to those around me? Or do I get frustrated with others, refusing to let go of their faults and refusing to give the benefit of the doubt?
  • Kindness: do I show kindness to others around me? And when I do where is it coming from? Is it coming from the little that I have or does it stem from the kindness that I am receiving from God?
  • Humility: this is a biggie. What am I focusing my life around? Is it all about me or is it about those around me? Am I doing or saying things to keep attention focused on me? What are the intentions behind my actions and words?
  • Meekness: I don’t think we always know what being meek means, but it goes along with the theme of the rest of this passage. Am I gentle with those around me? Am I soft and calm? Or am I boisterous and loud and saying whatever pops in my head without regard for the consequences?
  • Longsuffering: Am I patient with the people in my life? How about with God? Do I allow Him time to work in my life or do I decide to take matters in my own hands? Do I live my life in the “my way or the highway” mentality or do I leave room for God to do His work on His time?
  • Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another: similar to the attributes above, how am I dealing with people I interact with? Do I forgive or do I insist on holding onto grudges and what I think is owed to me? Do I bear with those who feel like a thorn in my side?

I will be honest with those of you out there reading this, I have not been the best at basically any of these things lately. I haven’t been putting on love like Paul calls for us to do.

But that’s the beauty of this season! It’s another opportunity for a fresh start, to put on love, to be ruled by the peace of God, to be filled with the word of God.

Instead of being ruled by our passions and pride and selfishness and insecurities, let’s choose to be ruled by the peace of God.

Way Too Full But Not Full Enough

The last couple of days I’ve been struggling with a little bit of a hurt pride. I’ve been struggling with my insecurities. I’ve been hurting just a little more than I normally am. And today God decided it was time to make it blatantly obvious why.

Today’s daily journal referred to 2 Kings 3:16, 20:

“And he said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Make this valley full of ditches.’…Now it happened in the morning, when the grain offering was offered, that suddenly water came by way of Edom, and the land was filled with water.”

The little embellishment below the verse said this:

Before God can become incarnate in my heart I must empty myself so that there is room for Him to dwell. If I surrender to God and ask Him to show me which parts of my heart need to be emptied, He will never leave me dry. He is faithful to fill up the ditches of my heart with His living water.

It seems like the theme of my life lately has been where my desires lie. My insecurities, my hurt, my injured pride. They all stem from one thing: desiring something other than God.

When I desire other things, I try to fill myself with them. I fill and I fill and I fill. But then I am hurt and I am disappointed and I am miserable.

“For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.” (Jeremiah 2:13)

broken cistern

I realize this is a topic that is repeated over and over, but it is a topic that I believe can never be repeated enough. Is that not the cause of mankind’s undoing? We look for satisfaction, for fulfillment, for complete happiness. And we will lie, cheat, and steal if we have to in order to obtain it. We will abandon God and our beliefs in pursuit of satisfaction, when in fact, He is the only Thing that will satisfy us. And what are we left with? Even more loneliness and emptiness.

We have to abandon our pursuit of satisfaction in other people, in possessions. We have to let go. We have to let God.

When we let go and let God, we will be satisfied, fulfilled, whole. No longer will we be disappointed because we will be trusting in the One who alone can fill, who alone can heal, who alone will not disappoint.

I pray that we – I first and foremost – empty ourselves, surrender to God, and allow the fulfillment to flow.