Colossians  ◦   Chapter 3

1 Since your minds have been renewed by Christ in selfless love, set your hearts' desire on the things of heaven, where Christ reigns enthroned at God's right hand.2 Focus your minds on the principles, values and methods of God as revealed in Christ, and not on the selfish activities and practices of the world,3 Because your old life–based on selfishness and motivated by survival-of-the-fittest–died, and your new life of love is submerged in God through Christ.4 And when Christ, who is the source of your new life in God, comes again, then you will be united with him in glory.

5 Therefore put to death your selfish nature by choosing to say No to all its desires. Say No to sexual promiscuity, perversions, pornography, lust, any impure thoughts, selfish desires and greed–all of which are forms of self-worship.6 Persistence in such behaviors destroys the capacity and desire to be healed, and because of this, the Day is coming when God finally lets all reap the full consequences of their destructive choices.7 You used to live your lives driven by selfishness, and you gratified the desires of your selfish nature,8 but now — to be fully healed — you must rid yourselves of selfishness in all its forms, including hatred, rage, vengeance, jealousy, envy, gossip, slander, prejudice, hostility, and all coarse and vulgar language.9 And, of course, don’t lie or deceive each other, for–having rejected selfishness with all its practices–you have had a change of mind (a change of operating system),10 and have a new identity, with new methods and motives being created within you. You are being transformed back into the image of the Creator through ever-increasing knowledge and experience of God as revealed by Christ.11 In such a place–a place where everyone is restored to God's image–there is no division or preference based on ethnic background, religious affiliation, education, physical abilities or financial status, but Christ is all that matters, and Christlikeness is restored in all.

12 As God's chosen messengers, who have responded to his love and partaken of his healing Remedy, represent God's character and methods faithfully by being compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, and patient.13 Empathize and be understanding with one another, recognizing that we are all infected with the same ailment and all need the same cure. Forgive whatever wrongs or injustices you may have with one another; forgive as freely as the Lord forgave you.14 And above all else, love each other completely, and love will meld your hearts together in perfect unity.

15 Let the serenity that comes from reconciliation with Christ be a compass guiding your decision making, for as members of God's family you were called to join the one harmonious pulse of love that emanates from the heart of God. And let thanksgiving overflow from your hearts of love.16 Fill your minds with the truth of God's character, methods and principles as revealed by Christ and as recorded in Scripture, and teach each other how to apply God's methods to your lives here and now; and sing praises, hymns, and spiritual melodies with your hearts filled with appreciation and thankfulness to God.17 And in all your endeavors, no matter what the activity–whether speech, song, actions, or writings–do everything in keeping with the character of the Lord Jesus, practicing his methods and giving your thanks to God the Father.

18 Wives, submit to the Christlike leadership of your husbands.

19 Husbands, love your wives and don't be rough, cruel, unpleasant or unkind with them.

20 Children, have a humble willingness to listen and follow the Christlike guidance of your parents in everything, for such a healthy mindset pleases God.

21 Fathers, don't ridicule, antagonize, or harshly criticize your children, or they will be turned off from the truth about God.

22 Slaves carry out all duties given you by your earthly masters with respect, faithfulness and diligence; do this not simply to get their praise, but with genuine Christlike character seek to honor God.23 So whatever you do, do it with integrity and full devotion, as if you were working for Jesus and not for people,24 because you know that you receive the true reward of a healed mind, a pure heart, and eternal life from God. You are actually serving Christ by revealing his methods, character and principles to those who do not yet know him.25 All those who persist in selfish or evil living will reap the pain, destruction and death that such living inevitably brings. Everyone reaps the consequences of their choices.