Guest Blogger: Dalton Stoltz
Pastor Grant recently challenged all of us to take steps towards getting healthy physically before summer. I’m working on getting healthy and I have lost over 50 pounds in 60 days. On this journey, I’ve learned that nothing in life worth having is easy, and getting healthy isn’t easy. People can’t get healthy halfheartedly, they must be all in and the same applies spiritually. You can’t follow Christ halfheartedly.
The first step towards getting healthy spiritually is thinking healthy. Colossians 3:1-2: “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 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. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
When we begin to think healthy it means we “seek the things that are above.” The Greek phrase here is saying habitually set your attention on things above. This means that our practical, everyday affairs and circumstances get their direction from Jesus, who is in heaven. How do you do that? Spiritual disciplines are a major catalyst that God uses. He uses spiritual disciplines to change you from the inside out. By beginning to practice spiritual disciplines like Bible reading, prayer, and worship, we begin to train our mind to think from above.
Our next step is acting healthy. The first key to acting healthy is mortification, that is putting our sin, our flesh, to death. Colossians 3:5-10: “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. Likewise, the child of God must put off these attributes from the old sinful life. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”
I want to remind us, Paul is talking here to people who were Christians as he lists out these two sets of sins. Paul is saying that the child of God must put to death every impulse that desires these sins. Sin is a choice for the child of God and you can choose not to sin. This meant for the Colossians that they had to give up their social sins that were socially acceptable to people all around them. Paul Tripp has said, “The sin struggle is universal and inescapable, the grace of God is boundless and sufficient, we have to admit the one to receive the other.” Jesus wants us to receive and embrace the grace of God.
Jesus also wants us living healthy. Colossians 3:11-14: “Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. 12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 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.”
Living healthy means that there are certain things we need to put on. What does it mean to “put on”? It means that our conduct should match our faith. This is as simple as putting on your clothes. These attributes that Paul shared need to be wrapped up in love. When we do this collectively, we start to become a healthy community. We want to be a church that is producing a Christ-centered healthy community where the peace of Christ rules in our hearts, where we are encouraging each other and building each other up. We want to be a church that loves God, loves one another, and that loves our neighbors. These are just a few steps in becoming healthy spiritually.