Saturday, September 26, 2015

Colossians 2:8

Colossians 2:8
See that no one will be the ones who take you all captive through philosophy and empty deception according to the traditions of mankind, according to the elementary nature of the world, and not according to Christ.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Paul warns the Colossians to not be taken captive.  Paul specifically warns them about the philosophies and elemental nature of the world.  We should really pay attention to this.  For example, it is possible to fall so much in love with science and understanding how the world works around us that we forget about the God who put those things into motion.  It’s not bad to study and love science; we simply need to remember God in the process and give Him the greater honor than we give to science and the underlying principles of the world.  In the same manner, we can get caught up in human philosophy.  There are people who get caught up in the pursuit of love or kindness or justice, or other such things.  Of course, these are great concepts!  There is nothing wrong with living a life that desires to love one another, be kind to one another, or to be just.  But we must do those things under the greater umbrella of God and His ways.  As Paul hints in 1 Corinthians 13, if I have a whole host of great things but they are not rooted in God, are they really good?

Is it easy to have your perspective shift off of God and onto something else?  Why or why not?  Why is it important for Paul to put this reminder in front of us?

Second Thought:

Paul also warns the Colossians about the empty traditions of mankind.  I think this is perhaps one of the most dangerous traps into which a person can fall.  Even in our desire to be faithful we can succumb to the trap of tradition.  I have often found myself doing things because it’s just the way I’ve always done it rather than because God was calling me to it.  I’ve found myself teaching a certain way because that’s just how it has always been done rather than because it is the best for the students.  I’ve found myself worshipping in a certain way because that’s the way we’ve always done it rather than because it is the way that is best for the people or the best approach to introducing others to God.  As human beings, we are very susceptible to falling into our habits and patterns and staying there because we are comfortable.  We should want to listen to God and obey Him more than we should want to be comfortable in our human tradition.

What traditions trap you easily?  When are you least likely to give up your traditions?

Third Thought:

Paul finishes this verse by reminding the Colossian people that it should all be about Christ.  Christ is the focus.  Following Christ’s example is the goal.  Bringing people into a greater understanding of Christ and the Father is what our life should be about.

Is Christ what your life is about?  What does it mean to have Christ truly as the center of your life?

Passage for Tomorrow: Colossians 2:9-10
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