“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him”…Colossians 3:17 (ESV)
Growing up, did you ever have that guy or that girl in your life- that person that, no matter how hard you seemed to try, you just couldn’t seem to get away from? Everywhere you went, and in everything you did, no matter if they were invited or uninvited, they just kept showing up, relentlessly pushing their way into your business.
(Note- If you didn’t have person in your life, perhaps you need to consider that you were this person for someone else. Just something to chew on.)
In my current season of life, my four- and two-year-old sons are these people for me. There is literally nothing- and nowhere- that is safe or sacred from their (welcome or unwelcome) intrusion.
Going to the garage? They’re coming with me.
Going to get the mail? They’re coming with me.
Going to take out the trash? They’re coming with me.
Going to the bathroom? Even there, they’re attempting, with all their powers of preschool persuasion, to come with me.
This week, as I considered the verse that heads this post, along with the instructions that follow it in Colossians 3:17-4:1, I was struck by just how much Jesus has in common with my young sons. No matter where I go in this life, and no matter what I’m doing, as one of His people, He absolutely insists on coming with me. Hard as I might try otherwise, there is simply no getting away from Him. As my Lord and my “life” (see Colossians 3:4), He wants something to do with everything.
Full disclosure here- That is at once one of the most comforting things about Jesus, and one of the most annoying. Of course I appreciate the whole “I will never leave you or forsake you bit,” but the fleshly nature in me sometimes just wants Jesus to steer clear of “my business.” Surely I’m not the only Christian who sometimes feels this way, huh?
Recently, though, as I worked through this tension in my mind, I was reminded of a critical- but easy to forget- truth. As a Christian, there is no longer such a thing as “my business”; every bit of “my business” is now unquestionably, undeniably Jesus’ business. As God’s adopted child and treasured possession, Jesus’ authority in every area and aspect of my life is now absolute, and everything I say and do in every one of those areas reflects on Him and His Gospel.
This fact is made clear in Paul’s instructions to the Christians in Colossae in 3:17-4:1 as He drills down on the relationships between husbands and wives, children and parents, and bondservants and masters. And although each of the commands here are horizontal (i.e. worked out in human relationships), Paul makes clear over and over again that every single one of them reflect a vertical responsibility, and have vertical impact.
Here’s what I mean- The foundation for Paul’s words regarding relationships are rooted, without exception, in the character of God and in the nature of the Gospel message. Every single one. That means that the way husbands love, wives submit, children obey, parents lead, servants serve, and masters master says something to the watching world about who God is and how He relates to His people. God didn’t make this stuff; it arises directly from His character.
God has designed everything in His created world with the potential to reveal His greatness and goodness, that people might know and follow Him as they were designed to do. And God knows, in all His wisdom, that one of the most powerful ways His glory gets magnified is when His people do relationships drastically differently than the world around us.
I’m thoroughly convinced that the people in your life care far less about what you believe than they do about how what you believe is impacting the way you live. They don’t just want to hear about Jesus; they want to see Him- in you. And God has graciously provided us with a way to show them that. When you lean into obedience to these admittedly unnatural and countercultural ways of living and relating, that will cause the world to take notice, and thus provide us with a platform from which to share who our God is and how He desires to relate to them.
All that to say- Jesus is a guy that you just can’t get away from. Not at home. Not at work. Nowhere. He’s coming with you, and enabling and empowering you to shout to the world His glorious Gospel. Does the way that you’re living and relating in these relationships reflect that purpose?