I’ve heard people comment that the Bible is too general. I’ve heard (and probably said it myself) that if God would just be specific, I would know what to do and I would do it. Well, take heart! God prompted the apostle Paul to be very specific with the new believers at Colossea.
Paul’s letter to these new Colossian believers was meant to encourage and influence them to walk worthy of the Lord, to do good, and to be continually learning more about Jesus. Paul urged them to receive strength from the power of God while being patient and joyful. He motivated them to give due thanks to Almighty God. (Colossains 1: 9-12) They were to be well rooted, thriving in Jesus, and established in their faith like a healthy plant. (Colossians 2:7)
Then Paul got more explicit. He listed specific behaviors from their “before Jesus” days that they should abolish from their lives since they were now filled with the Holy Spirit. He directed them to remove any and all sleeping around, filthiness, unrestrained affections, evil eroticism, and covetousness, which he equated to idolatry. Nothing unclear about that list. But that’s not all. Paul added anger, wrath (deeply resentful anger), malice (a desire to inflict harm), blasphemy (an act of cursing God or Godly things), filthy words, and lying to the “purposefully avoid these” list.
After the clean sweep admonition, Paul gave specific examples of godly replacement behaviors. While making love their first priority, Paul urged the Colossians to exemplify mercy, kindness, humility, meekness (a yielded-ness to God), tolerance, and forgiveness. He charged them to let the peace of God rule in their hearts, to be thankful, and to be richly filled with God’s word filtering anything and everything they said or did through the name of Jesus. (Colossians 3:12-17) He also gave specific instructions to husbands, wives, children and employees. (Colossians 3:18-25)
Our great God, who is never changing (Hebrews 13:8), meant the above list of specifics for you and me as well. He knew all His children would need definitive explanations of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors and qualities. So, my fellow believers, whether you are just beginning your Jesus journey or have trod many miles with Him already, reread the lists and see how you are doing.
On a scale of 1-10, how well are you following God’s “specifics” lists? Are you a hearer only or a doer of His word?