“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:”
Colossians 2:16 (KJV)
How are you today? Last week, I asked you to ponder the words in Jeremiah 10:3-4 and relate them to the tradition of decorating trees for Christmas. This week, I would like to ponder the words in Colossians 2:16. These too, have to do with celebrating.
Taken alone and out of context, Colossians 2:16 can be misinterpreted. It could sound like we can do anything we want to and we shouldn’t let anyone tell us differently. That sounds pretty snobby and self-righteous. Yet, that isn’t quite what Colossians 2:16 means. It doesn’t say that we can have a free for all and do anything we want.
If we take this verse in perspective, it is saying that since we have died to ourselves and have followed Jesus, don’t let anyone judge the things we do. When we are acting in Christian ways, it may seem uncool, silly, strange, or foreign to the world. It might not make sense to others.
What we eat, drink, do, celebrate, observe and how we do it might be different than those of others. Yet, it doesn’t mean we are doing it wrong. If we are following Jesus and doing the will of God, then we don’t have to do things as others do, not even as other Christians.
Unfortunately, people have a tendency to judge others. Although, this is a task better left for God. Sadly, this is true of believers and nonbelievers alike.
Nonbelievers may judge, because they don’t know God and His will for us. They may not know the Bible and what we are called to do. They may judge us out of anger or ignorance. Nonbelievers may try to “groom us” to follow more worldly practices. In my humble opinion, this can be seen in things like businesses being open on Sundays, encouraging people to work and shop on a day that is meant to be set aside for rest and spiritual rejuvenation or political correctness that says it isn’t right for us to say, “Merry Christmas” to others, to pray in school with a moment of silence, or any other number of things that it isn’t politically correct to say or do. (Am I judging here?)
Even other Christians sometimes judge the way we do things. Some Christian religions have different practices than others, and everyone tends to believe that they have the right way and only way to do things.
Yet, just because things are different, doesn’t mean they are wrong. Let’s look at something as simple as eating a peanut. Peanuts are a great source of many nutrients and can be very healthy for you. However, if you are allergic to peanuts, they can be very dangerous. The eating of peanuts are “right” for some and “wrong” for some. We are not to judge others or let people talk us into or out of doing what we believe is right for us.
The same is true in spiritual things. In spiritual things, whatever helps us to stay focused on God and whatever is God’s will for us, is what we should do. That is why we are to look to God for answers and let God be our judge, not people. We are called not to cave under peer pressure and not to let people sway us from our beliefs. If we think someone brings up a “good point” about what we are doing and we find ourselves questioning our actions, we are called to look to God through prayer, fasting, and reading the Bible for answers.
Thank you for giving us your Word, as words to live by. Help us to hold strong in our faith and beliefs as we follow Jesus. Help us to not be turned away or conflicted in our beliefs by worldly practices and judgment of others. Help us to focus only on you, Lord, in the things that we do. If we are uncertain in what we do, think, feel, or say, help us to turn to you through prayer, fasting, and reading your Word. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Colossians 2:16 (KJV):
*What does Colossians 2:16 mean to me?
*What are some things where people tend to judge me, but I am doing right
*Do I judge others?
*What are some things that are right for some people but wrong for others?
*What were some of things for which Jesus and his apostles were judged?
*Do I cave in or let others sway the way I believe, act, think, speak, or
*How can I better heed the words in Colossians 2:16?
Now, it is your turn.
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This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.