In what do you clothe yourself? Grace. Worry. Frustration. Frazzled. Peace. Joy. Complaining. Compassion.
This is a question I have been wrestling thru over the past few weeks. Colossians 3 is one of my favorite chapters and addresses this question. Not an easy answer to swallow though. I am realizing as I wrestle thru this question that it boils down to the view to which I see myself. Is it the lens of Jesus or the lens of self-incrimination. Over the next few blog posts I want to unpack what I am learning in the first 15 verses.
I have mentioned in previous posts how I struggle with worry and anxiety; I know when I am tired that I am hyper critical of myself. It’s extremely difficult to see the growth when all I see are the failures, how I could do better.
Clothed in Jesus. It’s not something I deserve. Nor is it something I have earned. It’s a gift He has given me. I struggle when I see how I could be doing better, or how my attitude is not a reflection of Him. I question, when will I be able to be exhausted and not worry about the tiniest thing? Yet when I step back I see how I am confident in not shying away from situations as I have been before; that I tackle the situations I face head on; there has been progress. My roots have gone deeper. I have victories along the way. Will I choose to stop and see those victories or will I choose to see what the enemy wants to see as defeat. Thru it all there is a call to be a clearer reflection of Jesus & that is what the verses in Colossians 3 point me back too.
So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. Colossians 3:1-2 The Message
“So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it.” v1 Ouch! And he doesn’t stop there “Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ – that’s where the action is.”
People over projects; it’s a phrase you will see at times if you walk into my office. This time of year is busy in ministry; camps, missions trips; normal course of business. Easily it could and does become about the project and task in front of me. Yet if the focus is the to do list than we often miss the point of the to-dos. The to-dos need to be finished; they are important tasks; but what makes them important is that they are attached to what Jesus is up to in my community. The purpose of those tasks are to be a part of removing distractions from people hearing the good news about Jesus. The tasks are also growth opportunities for me to grow. Am I using them as opportunities to pray or simply letting it stress me out? Am I allowing it to stretch me to look up and see? Do I see the people I interact with? An opportunity to encourage. To pray for and with. To rejoice with and get sad with. Or am I so focused on what I need to do that I miss the people, I miss Jesus?
Being serious about following Jesus means learning to look up……. while putting 110% into the tasks that need to get done.
What I will and do see is the pressure begin to lift and my perspective shift. My to do list is not my to do list; its Jesus’ to do list. Jesus knows what needs to happen and when. All the hiccups along the path; the failures, the mistakes, the opportunities for growth don’t catch Him by surprise so why do they me? Because I am focused on the wrong thing, my focus is the road in front of me and not looking up. This season of busy reminds me to be alert to what is going on around me, to follow closely to Jesus and find ways to lean into Him so I don’t miss the real action.
What steps are you going to take to be alert to what is going on around you, eyes not to the ground?
For me …………..
Its praying not stressing.
Smiling not sighing.
Lay my day before Jesus before its start.
Be willing and expect Him to show up and work in the “ordinary” of the day.
Compassion over complaining.
Joy over grumbling.
Grace for me.
Grace for others.
“See things from His perspective.” The powerful end of the first two verses and the launching point into the next set of verses, and blog post, …..I want to see from His view, His perspective. What does it look like? How is it different from how I often see things? My thinking has been shifting the more I follow; I want it to go deep, not on the surface but deep where it takes root and holds firm when life happens.