dord (dôrd), n. density of mind; chiefly exhibited by one who attempts to demonstrate supposed knowledge --adj. dord'ish


Thoughts After Reading Colossians

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." (Colossians 3:16-17, ESV)

First, we are commanded to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly. We all know that we have a responsibility to know the word, but what does it mean for it to dwell in us richly? When we eat rich food we savor it; it is enjoyable. We turn it over in our mouths, trying to get all that we can out of it; it is rich to us. What about God’s word? Do we savor it, turn it over in our minds, and try to glean all that we can from it, treasuring it as the wealth that it is? We all desire to speak wisdom, but wisdom does not come from ourselves. The words we speak show what is within, and only reflect wisdom to the extent that the word of Christ dwells in us.

Next comes verse 17, which tells us how to test the worth of what we give our time to doing. There are many activities that are not inherently sinful: playing sports, talking with friends, watching a decent movie, blogging. . . the list goes on. But the fact that something is not inherently sinful does not make it right for us to do. The question we must ask ourselves is not as much "Will this cause me to stumble?" as "Can I do this in the name of the Lord Jesus?" and "Can I honestly give thanks to God for this?" If not, then how could I possibly do it to His glory? (see 1 Cor. 10:31) I, for one, do not often enough think in these terms. I know that I can read my Bible or pray or even engage in Christian fellowship in His name. And of course I can share the Gospel in His name. But there are many activities for which I fail to think like this. But it still applies. "Whatever you do" always applies. I can attend college in the name of Jesus, and I can thank God for the opportunity. The same goes for coaching soccer, spending time with my family, and reading books in my discretionary time.

Then there are the more difficult applications: the realm of sports, hanging out, movies, and blogging. This is something I often struggle with, wondering whether I'm wasting time. There is no cut-and-paste answer. Yes, some are obvious: if I were to spend the whole day waching DVDs (even really good ones), you'd probably agree that I wasted time. Why? Movies, you might say, are entertainment. True enough. What about spending time with my family? Can I do it in the name of the Lord Jesus, do it for His glory, and thank God for the opportunity? Yes on all three counts. Always? What if I decided to skip all of my classes, ignore my other responsibilities, and stay home tomorrow just to spend time with my family? I would be neither a responsible person nor a blessing to my family--they have responsibilities of their own, after all. All things--even very good things like building relationships with one's family--must be subjugated to God's word. It is possible to play sports or to blog in the name of Jesus. It is possible to thank God for such things. But we cannot do so honestly if we try to pick and choose what we thank Him for and what we try to do in His name. We come back to those words again: "Whatever you do." Rest is the reward of a job well done. If by doing something I'm being irresponsible (i.e. disobedient) I cannot do it in the name of Jesus. Here is where verse 17 sends us back to verse 16: the better we know the Scripture, the more the word of Christ richly dwells in us, the better we will be able to apply wisdom in these situations.


Blogger Towropes said...

I just came across your blog today. I still don't read blogs in general (except those by preachers and teachers), but I want to commend you for the excellence of content I see here! I am very encouraged and grateful to God for the way you're pursuing him. I saw your booklist from a couple months ago--how amazing and provoking! Be blessed this semester.

You better live a happy.

9/28/2006 1:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent commentary.

Once or twice before, I've written a short commentary like this. It is very helpful for one's own clarity of comprehension and for the edification of others as well.

Your exposition on "let the word of Christ dwell in you richly" is deeply insightful.
I also gleaned much from your comments on verse 17 ; I think we've talked on this subject before.

Ronald Suffield

10/11/2006 3:57 PM

Blogger Jason said...

"Once or twice before, I've written a short commentary like this. It is very helpful for one's own clarity of comprehension and for the edification of others as well."
--This post was a re-write of something I wrote during my devotions. Perhaps I'll do more posts like it in the future.

10/12/2006 8:37 PM


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