Colossians 3 – Don’t Do That, Do This

Colossians 3 Bible with Equal Exchange Dark Mint Chocolate Crunch

Today’s Chocolate: Equal Exchange Organic Dark Chocolate Mint Crunch (67% Cacao)

Today’s PassageColossians 3

In my last few years of high school, I got into Dance Dance Revolution. I remember one song that began with a guy shouting, “Hey, you! Don’t do that! Do this!” And for the correct values of “that” and “this,” Colossians 3 is basically Paul telling his readers exactly that. It’s more moral instruction: having established where Christians stand in Christ, he discusses how they should therefore walk. Don’t do that; do this.

Paul’s fond of litanies, whether of virtues or vices, and in this chapter he’s got two lists of sins to refrain from doing. He instructs his readers, “[C]onsider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry” (5), and just a moment later adds, “[P]ut them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth” (8). And if you want to grow, you could do worse than to just pick one of these and work on it.

They’re all important to weed out in your life. But in light of an earlier verse, I’m gonna pick on greed here. Paul begins by urging the Corinthians to pursue the resurrected Christ by aspiring to higher things: “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (2). And today that was one of those verses that straight-up arrested me. Do we American Christians even do that? How different would the world be if we stopped pretending that God had called us to obsess over material comfort, accumulation of possessions, and individualistic pursuit of our own immediate desires? How differently would our politicians and businessmen and (let’s be honest) cartoonists turned Bible-study bloggers live?

We’re trying to turn our world into paradise through technology, and I can’t help but think it’s not gonna happen. No matter how much air conditioning and Youtube we invent, we’re gonna have to suffer. The answer is not to live in comfort free from pain; it’s to live well. And that means living for more than just life on the ground here and now. Paul’s got another litany in verse 12: “[P]ut on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” There’s your sky virtues, people. Chill out in the checkout line and quit acting like the cashier is some lesser being who owes you absolute servility.

There’s more I could say about this chapter, so I think I will. We’re in no hurry. Check back in tomorrow, where we’ll have the same passage and a brand-new bar of chocolate. Meanwhile, one of our handsome and intelligent readers has requested chocolate reviews, so I’ll be putting together a review of Equal Exchange’s Dark Chocolate Mint Crunch, the last of which I finished today. Keep your eyes peeled for that noise.

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