Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus. Colossians 3:17
“Son, I don’t have much to give you. But I do have a good name, so don’t mess it up.” Those wise, weighty words were uttered by Johnnie Bettis as his son Jerome left home for college. Jerome quoted his father in his American Professional Football Hall of Fame acceptance speech. These sage words that Jerome has carried with him throughout his life have been so influential that he closed his riveting speech with similar words to his own son. “Son, there’s not much that I can give you that’s more important than our good name.”
A good name is vital for believers in Jesus. Paul’s words in Colossians 3:12–17 remind us who it is that we represent (v. 17). Character is like the clothing that we wear; and this passage puts the “Jesus label” of clothing on display: “As God’s chosen people . . . clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another. . . . And over all these virtues put on love” (vv. 12–14). These aren’t just our “Sunday clothes.” We’re to wear them everywhere, all the time, as God works in us to reflect Him. When our lives are characterized by these qualities, we demonstrate that we have His name.
May we prayerfully and carefully represent Him as He provides what we need.
As you evaluate your wardrobe, how “well dressed” are you with Jesus’ character? How can you seek His wisdom, power, and guidance to reflect Him even more clearly?
Father, forgive me when I don’t represent Jesus well. Give me strength and courage to be better dressed for Your glory and Christ’s name’s sake.
Learn more about the importance of living a life that honors Christ.
Gratitude is the single theme that unites verses 15–17 of Colossians 3. Without stating specifically what we’re to be thankful for, Paul says that thankfulness to God should characterize our lives. He concludes verse 15 by saying, “And be thankful.” In verse 16, we’re to lift our voices in song with a grateful heart. And in verse 17, we should give thanks to God in whatever we say or do. Each of these admonitions comes from Greek root word charis, which means “grace.” Another form of this word means “properly acknowledging that God’s grace works well.” This suggests that all thankfulness is ultimately rooted in God’s grace to us. The opening verses of this chapter tell us why: we’ve been raised with Jesus, our lives are hidden with Him, and we too will appear with Him when He comes in glory (vv. 1–4). What more reason to be thankful?