Colossians 4:2–5 — Our Ultimate Aim
Most of us, as we work our way through life, have hopes, dreams, and desires. Try a few of these on for size: a family, a good job, and health. Or perhaps you desire more than a good job—you are looking for a career, or maybe even more. Regarding health, maybe you desire to be accomplished at a hobby or sport which demands a great mind and/or body.
Now that I have made a few suggestions, consider this fill-in-blank sentence. “As I work my way through life, my hopes and dreams include __________________________.”
What did you fill in?
Depending on what you filled in, you might then seek advice from a person who you view as being pretty good at making their way along the same path.
What does any of the above musing and question have to do with this part of the Bible? Great question!
I want my entire life to be integrated. I don’t want to use one set of principles/rules for one area of my life, and another set for other parts.
For me, a big part of the journey of following Jesus is that he provides the way to live an integrated life. One of my hopes, desires, and dreams is that this thing we call faith be not only a Sunday ritual, but truly guide my life.
I think this letter to the Colossians has as its aim to help people do just that—live a spiritually-integrated life.
Consider this thought. If you want EVERYTHING in your life to be ordered or governed by a principle, or idea, or person—then this principle, idea, or person must be big enough to cover all aspects of your life.
The way I think about this concept is that once I’ve made sure this principle, idea, or person is big enough, I then aim for it—and along the way, get some advice.
Take wealth, for example. If you are looking to make a pile of money, you can work at it to the point where it consumes you. The challenge will be as to whether or not this aim was big enough.
Take your career as another example. You can go for it, but be careful or you will end, to quote Stephen Covey, on your death bed wishing you had not spent so much time at the office.
Which brings me back to Colossians. Consider the language Paul used in chapter one to describe Jesus. Go back and look at verses 1:15-20. Can anyone be any higher in the eternal and transient things of our universe? Jesus is the highest person.
Jesus is not just about religion. He is about the world. All of it. Career, wealth, family…the list goes on.
Colossians, therefore, invites us to consider having as our Ultimate Aim, Jesus: knowing him and making him known.
But in these few verses, something fascinating emerges. The Letter to the Colossians has been encouraging, advising, even chiding, the people to live their lives a certain way—to have a certain aim.
And that aim leads to something bigger: to proclaim Jesus.
Paul, and those to whom he is writing, are to proclaim Jesus. It is interesting to note that while the aim of their lives is for Christ, they are encouraged to have speech “seasoned with salt” to outsiders. They are to walk in wisdom—why? So that people may be drawn to a life of knowing and following Jesus.
Paul calls Jesus the mystery. He is. God come to earth. God come for the sins of the world. God come to set things right. Jesus—truly a mystery.
And when we have as our Ultimate Aim, the author and source of life, we will have abundant life, and that will lead others to Jesus.