Thursday, March 7, 2013

Reflecting on Colossians 3:12-17

This has been my default email signature for over two years:


Whatever you do, whether in word or deed,
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving
thanks to God the Father through him.
* Colossians 3:17 *
And I hadn't actually stopped to read that verse in a long time before today. Suddenly I thought to myself, "Am I doing and saying things in the name of Jesus? Am I thankful in whatever I do?" 

The cool thing is, I do feel like I've been working on these characteristics lately, without even really meaning to. I've felt compelled to be a better employee at work, managing my time more efficiently and avoiding distractions (most of the time). I've felt a quiet urging to offer help to various people and things, and I've answered those nudges obediently. And I am feeling extremely blessed in return! I am learning that God has equipped me with a passion for hospitality and helping, and I've been finding myself constantly in situations where I have the opportunity to give of myself.

But there are still plenty of times throughout the day when I'm definitely not thinking on Jesus in my actions or words; I'm acting selfishly rather than thankfully. So I'm really glad I still have this email signature, and I'm glad God brought it to my attention today. It was like He wanted to tell me, "You're doing this. And I want you to keep doing it, and be even more intentional about it."

Reading that verse also reminded me of my second trip to Romania, back in 2007. I had memorized Colossians 3:12-17 during that trip. (I can't remember if it was at the suggestion of the team leader or something I just felt led to do.) So I went back and read that passage, since I have since forgotten most of it. Check it out:
Colossians 3:12-17 (NIV) - emphasis added

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 I's such a good encouragement, right?! There is so much to be gleaned from this passage (and even more if you read the whole chapter). I think I probably memorized it back then because I knew I needed it to sink in deep, and I wanted it close to my heart so that it would remind me in difficult circumstances how I am supposed to respond -- Compassionately. Kindly. Patiently. Thankfully. And even though I don't have it in my brain word for word, I think it's still churning in my heart. I think it's the reason I have been feeling so many "random" nudges to check my attitude, realign my priorities, be more thankful, extend more forgiveness. 

I just love that God can use Scripture in this way. I may have read a verse one single time ten years ago, but God can still teach me and move me through that verse today. It makes me want to spend more time dwelling in the Word and cherishing it in my heart. (Which reminds me, I really should get started memorizing Philippians if I'm going to get the whole book down before my 30th birthday.)

Anyway, I just felt like sharing these thoughts today. I'm headed home to meet little Ezra, so if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, get ready to be bombarded with adorable baby pics!


  1. They say that the worst sin of all, the root sin from which all other sins stem, is pride. I firmly believe that. And I believe that a spirit of thankfulness goes a long way toward combating that!

  2. Love you. Love this post!


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