This verse came up in our Bible study last week. The discussion was about the surprise that Paul would say this in admonishment to new believers to be firm in their faith. Walk in Him just as you received Him, freely. Freely. Wow.Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6-7
I know as a new believer I wanted rules. The ends of the epistles were my favorite parts because they gave me clear instructions. Do this. Do not do this. The grander, more spiritual aspects of who God is and who Jesus is were difficult to understand, but I understood Be kind, Be patient, Bear with one another, Read the Word. But Paul is telling the Colossians just to walk in Him freely. Be established in the faith, be rooted and built up in Him, abound in thanksgiving, and walk freely.
It makes me wonder if somehow spiritually we short circuit our ability to walk as a new creation when we try to exercise fleshly control over our actions in order to clean up the old man, if somehow that prevents the glory of the new man from shining forth.
For example, yesterday I ate appropriately until, as usual, about 5:00. Then I got a Frosty and a Diet Coke from Wendy's and I came home to an empty house. No one would be home for dinner until R was home from baseball, and he was the only one to really cook for, so I was sort of at loose ends. There was plenty of work to do, but I wasn't sure I wanted to start a new project. (In fact, I was sure I didn't want to start a new project.) What to do? Nibble. Still at loose ends, so nibble some more. You get the idea.
So am I going to fix this bad habit of mine by imposing rules on myself? I haven't been very successful at that so far. Or, and this is a radical new idea, maybe it will take care of itself if I forget about it and focus instead on abiding in Christ. Just live in the new man. Walk with Him, breathe with Him, speak with Him, listen to Him. And when I fall away, like last night and my little food fest, come right back. That's all. Forget what I ate or didn't eat -- just jump right back into sweet fellowship with Him. Because I suspect He doesn't care what I weigh, only that I've broken fellowship. Maybe that's what Paul is telling the Colossians.
On a different note, T said something today that made me sad. I don't talk to T about my blogs because he's called them stupid in the past. (Actually, he has called it stupid. He doesn't know I have two blogs now.) And I've been careful to only write in them when he's not around for the same reason. But this morning I was feeling a little behind, so I kept typing even after he came downstairs. I knew the clickity-clack of the keys was annoying to him because he was trying to read at the same table. He didn't say anything about me stopping, but he did insist on knowing what I was doing (although he knew).
Later he referred to my blogging as writing love letters to myself. =( Maybe it is.