Dwelling and Ruling

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…and be thankful…let the word of Christ dwell in you richly... Colossians 3:14-16 (ESV)

What do you dwell on?

I am convinced the thoughts on which we dwell tend to rule over us.

The result of which can be detrimental or beneficial.

Recently, my friends and I have received constructive criticism—for the purpose of doing our jobs better. Although we truly want to be more efficient, meet the needs of those we serve, and glorify Christ in all we do, it’s hard not to allow negative feedback to discourage us.

Dwelling on thoughts like—I can’t do this, I should never have taken this on, I’m doing an awful job, I should quit, I’m a failure—go in direct opposition to the truth God speaks into our lives.

Yet, I catch myself dwelling in these negative thoughts to the detriment of my heart and my work.

Isn’t fear of failure the real source of these thoughts—I’m afraid of failing.

And the desire for the approval of ‘men’? What will people think of me if I do?

I love the Psalms because so often David begins in thoughts similar to mine—My sin is always before me (Ps 51); Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck (Ps 69:1); O God, why have you rejected us forever? (Ps 74); I am laid low in the dust (Ps 119).

The beauty of the Psalms is the way they end in praise to the Lord. God’s word is truly living and active (Hebrews 4:12). In the lives of Christians, it has the power to set us free from deception (John 8:31-32) and the fear of condemnation (Romans 8:1).

God is at work in every believer—disciplining, teaching, sanctifying. The end result is his glory and ours as we reflect the image of Christ. He allows feedback (via the Holy Spirit or our brethren or bosses) to do it’s work in moving us to repentance and renewed dependence upon him for our benefit and transformation.

Satan wants to render us ineffective for service to God. He loves to twist what God means for good and deceive us. When we dwell on thoughts which reinforce his lies we are submitting ourselves to him.

The word of God is the only way to combat the lies of the deceiver (Ephesians 6:17). When we turn to the truth of God in the Bible we allow the living word to do its intended job—purify us and set us free.

My word of advice regarding criticism:

  • Search it for truth (Ps 139:23-24)
  • Repent of any wrong action of attitude (Philippians 2:5-6)
  • Commit your work to the Lord (Proverbs 16:3)
  • Thank God for conforming you to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29).

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…and be thankful…let the word of Christ dwell in you richly... Colossians 3:14-16 (ESV)

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