Read the Book of Colossians
When I meet someone new, I typically try to have a conversation that gets straight at their roots. Sometimes it’s because I’m trying to find a good angle for sharing the gospel, but sometimes it’s just fun to see how someone ticks! You see, everyone is like a plant or a tree. When we interact with each other, we tend to present our best fruit and flowers and leave the thorns or dead branches out of the picture.
But at the bottom of most plants is a root system that dives down into the ground, soaking up nutrients from the soil.
What kinds of things are people rooted in? What soil are we really planted in?
Paul does a really cool thing in his letter to the church at Colossae: He describes Christ, Christ’s position as ultimate authority, and essentially presents him as the source from which all things should rightly flow or the foundation upon which everything should be built — the best “root.” Then he goes on to tell the people why it matters that Jesus is the supreme ruler and what they should do in response, or essentially, what fruit they are to show.
For instance, if you really knew who Christ was and what he had done for you, you would also know that you were a new creation in him and that you needed to live a holy life.
If you really knew that Christ was Lord over all creation, your family dynamic would show it — mothers and fathers wouldn’t be oppressive to their children; spouses wouldn’t hit, demean, or mistreat one another; wives would flourish because of the supportive and self-sacrificing love of their husbands; and husbands would be encouraged by their wives to excel in holiness because of gospel partnership.
Knowledge of Christ would definitely change your work habits, both as a person of authority and a person in a subservient role. The man in the lowest state could work heartily as unto the Lord, and the woman at the top of the corporate ladder would confidently serve her underlings knowing that she was under the ultimate authority of Jesus.
If a person is rooted in Christ, in other words, his or her fruit will be Christlike. Go figure!
What is your Christology? Do you know the person of Jesus? Do you believe he is God? Do you believe he is the ultimate ruler of the universe? That he rules over all that is seen and unseen? Do you believe that all of creation was made by him, for him, and through him? Do you submit to his authority?
If so, Paul’s teaching is clear: Don’t be led astray into believing false things about him. Serve Jesus as the real king of your life. Do not let him come back and catch you mistreating your family. Don’t let him find you gossiping about or slandering others. Don’t stifle the light of Jesus that is within you by putting it under a basket of complaint, laziness, deceitfulness, greed, or gluttony. Shine forth with his love!
What other roots are there? Is there a root you need to dig up? Do you need to transplant yourself somewhere (figuratively — all analogies break down) so that you can reconnect to the root of Christ Jesus? Maybe you’ve got some fruit in your life that is not so God-honoring? Take a look at what your life is rooted in!