Tonight I went to our church prayer meeting and walked in as Glenda was finishing a devotion Colossians 3:12-17. It might actually have been on 3:1-17 but I only caught the end. It was incredible. For the past 2 or 3 weeks every sermon, Bible passage, prayer time I have been part of has been centred around the same theme – being fully reliant on God and not on our own competencies, and to be patient, gentle and humble people. Tonight was more of the same.
I don’t mean that in a negative way. In fact it’s been an incredible blessing to have this message reinforced as something God cares about. It’s not always been Colossians being read or preached on – it’s a consistent theme in the Bible and if God is trying to tell me something, then I am getting the point! I will willingly tell you that neither of these things come particularly naturally to me. Like many of you, I am a competent person. I’m not trying to boast and I’m certainly not claiming any particular brilliance – I’ve just been blessed with a loving family and a thorough education. As a result, my natural tendency is to try and do things in my own strength, with my own energy and with my own ‘strategy’. This is my ‘thing’ – I like to see where things could be, the vision I suppose, and then I like to figure out a way for us to get there. I’m absolutely hopeless on the implementation front (things like details definitely aren’t my strength) but I can do the vision and the strategy part. So my temptation is for me to do this all on my own and really only consult God on a superficial basis. A quick prayer ‘What do you think?’ ‘Yeah, me too’ and I’m off.
The message that was reinforced to me again tonight was that this isn’t the way to do it. I can see that quite clearly in my own life and in the completely exhausted state that I found myself in toward the end of last year and that I am still recovering from.
If you’ve read the passage or are familiar with it, you may be wondering why I am talking about being reliant upon God. Well it’s because my mind doesn’t exactly work in a linear fashion and to me this passage, particularly verses 15-17, are reinforcing to me the other issue I need to acknowledge which once addressed will help with the issue of reliance. I relate to this passage because I really struggle (and always have) with the virtues mentioned here. If you have met me you will know that I am not by nature a patient, gentle or humble person. It’s not what comes naturally for me. I’ve often struggled with how to understand and live these virtues because I’m just not gentle, and I’m certainly not patient. I’m hopeless (see previous post – I make babies cry for goodness sake!) and I get frustrated so easily it’s terrrible. However, I realise that these virtues are not talking about personality; they are talking about character and attitude. I can’t change my personality but I can develop a more patient, gentle and humble attitude and I can do this by letting the word of Christ dwell in me richly. I’m definitely still a work in progress!
Though I am sure there is more I could write about this, my beloved husband has just walked in the door (at 11.40pm! – a note to those considering architecture as a career, beware the hours!!) so I am going to go and drink a glass of wine with him and enjoy the wonderful gift he is.
If you are a praying person then I would greatly appreciate your prayers that my character be continually conformed to the likeness of Christ, and in particular that He would be helping me develop these particular characteristics of patience, humility and gentleness and a great reliance upon Him.
p.s. I really hope that I’ve made some terrible spelling or grammar mistake in this post – a first lesson in humility perhaps?