By Brooke Holt
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” Colossians 3:1-11
What is the best version of yourself? That seems to be a popular question these days with far too many implications. However, it can be a good godly question for each of us to ask ourselves. Am I living into the highest version of myself, the best version, the one God created me to be? Another way to think of it is, am I thriving or surviving? God didn’t create you to survive. He longs that you would live in his abundant life (John 10:10).
How can you move from surviving to thriving? Paul admonishes his readers to embrace the new self in Christ and put off the old self of the flesh. Practices such as sexual immorality, covetousness, idolatry, anger, obscene talk, and lying align with the old self. Unfortunately, even the most faithful Christian will continue to struggle in some or all these areas. That is why Paul instructs you to “put on this new self, which is being renewed after the image of its creator” (verse 10).
How do you experience this renewal? Is it a daily experience in your life? Paul has explained this process of renewal. Some of it is God’s work in us, and some is our cooperative work with God. The Lord will renew you. Your part is to “set your mind on the things that are above” (verse 2). Paul knows the things you think about greatly impact your life. These thoughts can lead you to live into the highest version (the things above) of yourself or the lowest (the things of the flesh).
So, let’s get practical. What do you watch on television at night? Do these shows help you think holy thoughts or fleshly thoughts? What about what you read? What thoughts do you entertain? Every single person will have fleshly thoughts come; what you do with those thoughts shapes your character and choices. There is an ongoing battle for your soul, which often begins in your mind.
Paul reminds you today to lift your eyes to Jesus, ask him to help you stay focused on the things of the Spirit, and let go of the things of the flesh. It is a ferocious battle you can only win by looking to Jesus Christ and relying on his Spirit to convict and renew you.
God created you in his image for his glory. He has a glorious and good plan for your life. How can you recommit your life to him today, asking that he would teach you how to live into your highest self? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Follow the ancient way of the Psalms and find the life God has for you. A model for vibrant worship, the Psalms provide practical wisdom to traverse the circuitous path of life with trust and hope. Pilgrim’s Path: A Study of the Psalms traces our spiritual walk with God—from discovery and delight, through doubt and disappointment, into joyful confidence. Whether used for individual or group study, Pilgrim’s Path is for everyone who seeks to know and love God more and find life in him.
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