The Bind That Ties

When I was a boy, one of my heroes was Evel
Knievel. Whenever he was performing a stunt on
TV, I was watching, and I was mesmerized. Also, I
vividly recall having a lot of Evel Knievel toys:
motorcycles with the pull cord; Evel Knievel
figures to ride the motorcycles (of course!);
various Knievel helmets and outfits—blue with the
white and red bars and stars, red with blue and
white bars and stars, and the really cool gray one
with white and red bars and stars. I played outside
with him, having him make impossible jumps, or
having him crash and “recover” miraculously to try
again. As a young boy, I remember a strong
desire to be like him—to be fearless and brave. I
wanted to be what he was. I wanted to do
everything that he did.
Paul writes to the church at Colossae about
what they should “put to death,” and about what
they should “put on” in its place. As is his wont,
Paul presents this in list format. He first details
several behaviors—and several ways in which
people speak to one another—that are anathema
to followers of Christ. Then he specifies ways in
which people of God are to speak and to act, in
every circumstance. The second list is quite
different from the first. And for good reason.
The first list describes typical worldly (read:
human) behavior. It speaks—pun intended—to
the extreme difficulty of resisting our own urges.
Whether aloud or silently in our hearts, we tend to
rage and spew and hate when things do not go as
we think they should go. We are prone to react
out of our nature rather than respond out of grace.
Note that the second list that Paul offers (the
good list) is imitative of Jesus. The qualities Paul
commends are all qualities that we see in our
Lord. As people who know Christ, these are the
qualities we must “put on.” We should want to be
what Christ is. We should desire to do everything
he did. –Ricky

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