A Good and Beautiful Life

Read: Colossians 3:1-17

Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. (vv. 9-10 NRSV)

What is the key to living a good life? Marketers spend millions convincing us that they know the answer. But the truth is, we were created to be in fellowship with God. The key to a good life is our collaboration with the Holy Spirit to build it.

What will this life look like? Colossians 3 gives a clear description of a good and beautiful life with directions on how to gain it. First, we take off our old self with its need for self-gratification and control. Then, we put on a new self. We are able to do this because we are “God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved” (v. 12). Next, we allow God’s Spirit to make us into compassionate, kind, humble, meek, patient, forgiving, and loving people.

This is no easy process. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis, Eustace, a young boy, turns into a dragon because of his bad behavior. In order to heal, he must first choose to have his rough dragon skin torn off—a painful process of transformation that ultimately brings sweet freedom and relief.

To build a good and beautiful life, our old skin must go too. As you read the list of attributes of the old self in verses 5-9, what clings to you? What does God need to tear away, so that you can put on the new? —Karen Bables

As you pray, ask God to pull off your old skin.

About the Author

Karen Bables is the retired Spiritual Director of Christ Memorial Church in Holland, Michigan.

This entry is part 7 of 14 in the series Introduction to Spiritual Formation