Our Hearts are Keys to the New Self.
My Personal Experience
We are continuing a theme on the Putting of the Old Self and Putting on the New Self. In part three, Put Away Old Habits, I discussed more of what we are to put way. Today, we will look at the Characteristics that we are to put on with the new self.
Colossians 3:11-13, “Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”
In Verse 11, Paul is telling us that as believers we are all the same in Christ. There is no distinction between one another for Christ is all and in all.
In verse 12 to the end of the chapter, Paul is telling us what the characteristics of a new life of a believer are. We are going to look at 12 & 13 today.
Let us take a closer look at the word meekness. It is defined in Wikipedia as follows, ‘Meekness is a possible attribute of human nature and behavior. It has been defined in several ways: righteous, humble, teachable, and patient under suffering willing to follow gospel teachings; an attribute of a true disciple.’ There is a lot in just these two verses. We are instructed to put on compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, and patience. We are to bear with one another meaning carrying and supporting each other and most important to forgive as the Lord has forgiven us.
I like to think of this as thinking outside of ourselves and being other-minded. Again we find the word must in verse 13 which implies that we are to take action and not hold back. Luke 6:31 comes to my mind, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (NIV).’ Of ourselves, it is not possible but through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit, it is possible. God gives us the grace to put these on especially when one stops to consider how much He has forgiven you. I have seen this in my own life and it has surprised me what He has given me the strength to do.
For instance, I have been able to be gracious when someone made an attempt to push my buttons in order to get a certain response out of me. I saw it for what it was and did not overreact. God helps me to see what is really going on and respond rather than react to the situation. I may not always get it right but God gives me grace when I fall short.
In the final part of this series, we will look at verse 14-17. Until then rejoice in the Lord; again I say rejoice.
What can you ask God to help you put on as you draw closer to Him?
My next blessing came when I married my first love in February of 1989. John Mark loved to be around others. He would have given the shirt off his back if someone was in need. He loved music and football. I am forever blessed to have known him because I gave birth to his son in July of 1991. This is one of the greatest blessings in my life. I am thankful to have become a mom and my son is a wonderful young man. Sadly, my son did not get know his father for he was killed in a car accident before he was born.
I thought that I would take a moment here to talk about the two types of anger from the Greek that the Bible talks about. There is a big difference in the two and it is the one translated from the Greek word orge that one is to forsake. I am going to quote it from Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words pg. 26 Notes (1), copyright 1984, 1996.
“Thumos, “wrath” (not translated “anger”), is to be distinguished from orge, in this respect, that thumos indicates a more agitated condition of the feelings, an outburst of wrath from inward indignation, while orge suggests a more settled or abiding condition of mind frequently with a view to taking revenge. Orge is less sudden in its rise than thumos, but more lasting in its nature. Thumos expresses more the inward feeling, orge the more active emotion. Thumos may issue in revenge, though it does not necessarily include it. It is characteristic that it quickly blazes up and subsides, though that is not necessarily implied in each case.”
I like to look at it this way, thumos is like a match which quickly lights but does not last.
Orge, on the other hand, I refer to as a gunny sack where one stores up grudges only to use them against someone when the time is right. It is also this type of anger that one is not to let the sun go down on (Ephesians 4:26).
For me, I have learned that thumos is a signal that something is not right. This gives me the energy to make a change for the better. Nor am I to provoke others to anger nor be quick to become angry (Ephesians 6:4; Ecclesiastes 7:9; James 1:19). One more thought, orge is the one that someone chooses to stay mad about a hurt or wrong done to them.
Which anger do you identify with and how do you handle it? Ask God to show you ways to better cope with your anger as well as that of others.
My disclaimer: I know that every believer’s relationship to God is different and unique. You may not have the same experiences and that is okay. I am sharing because I want to bring Him the glory for what He is doing in me. I wish to impart to you what I have learned from His word.
Many years ago, a dear friend of mine introduced me to her father who gave me this verse to think on Jeremiah 33:3, ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know’ (NIV). This would later lead me to contemplate on what God’s cell phone number could be using two words, Cry & Call. There are a number of scriptures that refer to crying out to God or calling on his name.
“The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them.” (ESV)
“I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.” (ESV)
“I call out to the Lord,and he answers me from his holy mountain.” (NIV)
“I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.”
“In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.” (ESV)
When you use numbers from the phone to replace the letters you get 279-2255. Mind you, this is not a for real number but just something to consider to help you to remember that when you cry or call out to Him in truth He fulfills the desire of those who fear Him and will answer their cries.
Proverbs 1:20 -30 gives good reason why God does not answer when people cry out to Him.
What great and unsearchable things has God revealed to you when you call to Him?
A paradigm is a framework of basic assumptions and ways of thinking about something, for example, a worldview. A paradigm shift is a change in those assumptions and ways of thinking to another point of view. Often it is not easy to make the change. However, this shift is exactly what the Apostle Paul is wanting believers to do. Think of it like crossing a bridge to the other side of a great chasm.
We pick up the post on Put on the New Self, part 1. We are focusing on Colossians chapter 3. In part 1, we covered Colossians 3:1-4. Today’s passage is verse 5-7.
“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these, you too once walked, when you were living in them,” (ESV).
You might ask, how does one put to death that which is earthly in us? Good question! This is where the paradigm shift begins. Here we will use scripture to interpret scripture. Romans 6:13a reads, “Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness.” We are to choose not to sin.
The earthly things that we are to put to death are listed in the second half of verse 5 above. Ephesians 5:3 tells us that sexual impurity and all impurity or covetousness must not even be mentioned among us as is proper among the saints. Covetousness is referred to as idolatry (Eph. 5:5). Idolatry is the worship of an idol or a physical object as a representation of a god. So when one desires what someone else has, one is putting that desire before God in one’s life.
However, we are not left helpless. 1 Corinthians 10:13 reads, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” Therefore, as followers of Christ, we have a way to avoid the temptation to sin and God will provide that way out. God gives us the power to put to death that which is earthly in us through the study of His word, prayer, and the power of the Holy Spirit.
To summarize, the paradigm shift is not only to see our sins as God does but to have a desire to put them to death. The Holy Spirit enables us to resist temptation and will convict us when we have a need for it.
Next in the series: Put Away Old Habits.