It isn’t often that I completely change direction on what I am writing on. I have prayed for a topic to write about and as much as I would like to continue the topic of addiction, I am feeling a tug toward a different subject, that of Life and Death. Sometimes it seems as though all we do it watch the people we love die off, one by one. Hope is hard to come by, we cannot catch a break, it seems as though the world is crashing around us. Nothing makes sense anymore, and the words just won’t seem to come out. What can we do?
I’ve been studying a lot of different verses, mainly for a tattoo that I would like to place on my arm. The one that most comes to mind is Colossians 3:15–
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15 NIV©
The reason this verse specifically comes to mind is that this is one of my biggest struggles. Peace is something that eludes me. Peace, love, compassion. We are not just called to peace. You will notice that the verse also says to be thankful. This is no coincidence, because this verse references Christ and his sacrifice for us all. We are to be thankful for that gift. Death is not the end, it is simply the beginning. I’m sure you have seen John 3:16, one of the most quoted (and misquoted) verses in the Bible. This is not about John 3:16. This is about Colossians 3. This is about a different kind of life and death.
We are specifically advised to “put to death” things that are of earthly nature: sexual immorality, greed, impurity, lust, evil desires… it says that the wrath of God is coming because of these things. Colossians 3 is a chapter that deals with starting over.
You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
Colossians 3:5-10 NIV©
What is the meaning behind all of this? Life is in the new us. Without the guilt, without the shame, without the burdens of our old life; we are renewed. Let us share the love that Christ shared with us. As Paul’s first letter to Corinth states, we should act out of love always:
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstacy, but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s word with power, revealing all His mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith to say to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I am nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 MSG
We are not alive because of what we do; rather, we are alive because of what was done for us. Because of Christ, life has triumphed over death.