Proverbs 20 & Colossians 3

Proverbs 20

    Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,
        and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
    The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion;
        whoever provokes him to anger forfeits his life.
    It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife,
        but every fool will be quarreling.
    The sluggard does not plow in the autumn;
        he will seek at harvest and have nothing.
    The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water,
        but a man of understanding will draw it out.
    Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love,
        but a faithful man who can find?
    The righteous who walks in his integrity—
        blessed are his children after him!
    A king who sits on the throne of judgment
        winnows all evil with his eyes.
    Who can say, “I have made my heart pure;
        I am clean from my sin”?
    Unequal weights and unequal measures
        are both alike an abomination to the LORD.
    Even a child makes himself known by his acts,
        by whether his conduct is pure and upright.
    The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
        the LORD has made them both.
    Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty;
        open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.
    “Bad, bad,” says the buyer,
        but when he goes away, then he boasts.
    There is gold and abundance of costly stones,
        but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
    Take a man's garment when he has put up security for a stranger,
        and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for foreigners.
    Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man,
        but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.
    Plans are established by counsel;
        by wise guidance wage war.
    Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets;
        therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.
    If one curses his father or his mother,
        his lamp will be put out in utter darkness.
    An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning
        will not be blessed in the end.
    Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
        wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you.
    Unequal weights are an abomination to the LORD,
        and false scales are not good.
    A man's steps are from the LORD;
        how then can man understand his way?
    It is a snare to say rashly, “It is holy,”
        and to reflect only after making vows.
    A wise king winnows the wicked
        and drives the wheel over them.
    The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD,
        searching all his innermost parts.
    Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king,
        and by steadfast love his throne is upheld.
    The glory of young men is their strength,
        but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.
    Blows that wound cleanse away evil;
        strokes make clean the innermost parts.

(Proverbs 20 ESV)

Colossians 3

    If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

    Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

    Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 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.

    Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

(Colossians 3 ESV)

Colossians 3: In his appeal to the Colossians to live in a manner that is pleasing to the Lord, the apostle Paul declares the Christian’s new condition as someone who has “died” to the old man and has been “raised with Christ” as a new man. He then proceeds to explain how this new condition works itself out through “putting off the old self with its practices and putting on the new self which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator.” And finally, the apostle concludes his appeal with some practical application of how this new Christian condition impacts our every day relationships. 

In examining your own life, have you experienced a definitive death to the old you and a recognizable resurrection of a new you? Do you find yourself now equipped with a natural desire to put off “what is earthly in you” and desperately desiring to put on a holy lifestyle that is consistent with your new Christian identity? And does your Christianity impact your closest relationships in a way that requires sacrificial service to others out of your passionate desire to serve our Lord and what He commands?

Christian belief without any definitive change or desire for change in one’s own behavior is inconsistent with what Scripture defines as true Christianity. The man who truly falls in love with Christ our Lord experiences a radical change of mind about what’s worth living for in this life and how this life ought to be lived. May we set our minds on the things that are above and beyond what the average man sets his mind on. May we find ourselves renewed in knowledge of who our God is and what He desires from us and for us. And may we find ourselves forgiving like we’ve been forgiven, loving like we’ve been loved and thanking God like He deserves to be thanked. In anything and everything that we do here in this life, may we take pride in the fact that we have been granted the privilege of doing all things in a way that honors the name of our Lord.