I love to take a passage of Scripture that contains general instruction to believers and make it personal. I prefer to study the English Standard Version (ESV), but after studying a passage in the ESV, I will often read the paraphrase in The Message. Then, I personalize the passage, praying the words, challenging my heart, and asking the Holy Spirit to convict me to change. The challenge below comes from Colossians 3:1-17.
If I’m serious about my faith I must live it, and kill off everything connected to my old ways: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dishonesty, doing whatever I feel like whenever I feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts my fancy. I can’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, self-absorbed. That life is shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. That old life is dead and I’m done with it.
I must be alert, even-tempered, content with second place, and quick to forgive. I must see things from Christ’s perspective, pursue the things over which Christ presides. My new life—which is my real life—is with Christ in God. He is my life. When Christ appears again, the real me will show up too—the me He has made beautiful for His glory.
As I cultivate thankfulness and give the Word of God priority, I can wisely instruct and direct my children and others. And as a result, I sing my heart out to God! May every detail in my life, my words, my actions, be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.