Have you ever come across someone who is dominating, degrading and controlling? It’s so interesting to consider the reasons WHY people can be like that and to find the solution for it, too.
As I was researching Colossians 3, I came across something from N. T. Wright that really helped me see and understand the root of the issue. We’ll start with the Scriptures:
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” (Colossians 3:5-8)
N.T. Wright encapsulates two major themes for these lines in Colossians, describing them as “the wild animals of lust and hatred.” He goes on to say that they shouldn’t be locked up and put into cages where they remain alive and dangerous, a constant threat to their captor; they need to be killed. “The old (as in Old Testament) method of holiness attacked the symptoms; the true method goes for the root.”
He goes on, “Lust and anger feed on insecurity, attempting to overcome it by dominating other human beings, but always sinking more into fear and pride which in turn cause further anxiety. The gospel goes to the root of this problem. The freeness of God’s love attacks pride; its faithfulness, fear.”
The way Paul is telling the Colossians to live cannot be reached except through belief in the forgiving love of God.
The way God is calling US to live with one another cannot be reached except through belief in the forgiving love of God.
So what is the answer?
How do we do it?
Thankfully, God’s Word leads us:
“Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on (literally means “to seek”) things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:1-2)
How do we free ourselves of the evils of lust and anger? We have to ask, Where are our thoughts? Where do we place our attentions? This is absolutely an act of the will.
Where should we place our minds and hearts today?
Solely on Jesus. In Everything.