This week, we’ll be reading from Colossians. Click the scripture link to read the full chapter (Colossians is only 4 chapters long).
…since the day we heard about you, we haven’t stopped praying for you and asking for you to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, with all wisdom and spiritual understanding. We’re praying this so that you can live lives that are worthy of the Lord and pleasing to him in every way: by producing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God; by being strengthened through his glorious might so that you endure everything and have patience; and by giving thanks with joy to the Father. He made it so you could take part in the inheritance, in light granted to God’s holy people. He rescued us from the control of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. He set us free through the Son and forgave our sins.
How am I doing?
That’s a question we all ought to ask ourselves from time to time – but more importantly, it’s a question we ought to ask the people around us. How am I doing as a parent? As a spouse? As a son or daughter? As a boss? As an employee? As a friend?
And crucially, how am I doing as a follower of Jesus? Scholars tell us that the letter to the church at Colossae (a city in Asia Minor, modern Turkey) was written at a time when the congregation was experiencing conflict and difficulty. The Colossians may have been asking themselves this very question.
The letter-writer, traditionally Paul (though some suspect it may have been a follower of Paul writing in his name), suggests that there are ways to examine how we are doing.
First, are we producing fruit – is our faith bringing faith, hope, and love into other people’s lives? Second, are we being strengthened in our ability to endure trials and difficulties with patience? Third, are we able to give thanks – freely, spontaneously, and joyfully? If we are doing these things, then chances are that we’re on the right track.
For Pondering & Prayer
If you look at the three dimensions – producing fruit, being strengthened in endurance and patience, and giving thanks – which dimension of your spiritual life feels weakest to you right now? Which dimension is strongest?
It’s hard to ask the question “how am I doing?” But if we want to grow, sometimes we need the feedback. Who can you ask that question of today?