Summary: Colossians 2:6-7 gives us a reason to be grateful for what Christ has done and continues to do. This should happen from: 1) A Thankful Walk (Colossians 2:6), 2) A Thankful Faith (Colossians 2:7a), 3) A Thankful Gratitude (Colossians 2:7b)
According to a new book by a Vancouver nutritionist, Sarah Holvick, you aren’t just what you eat. According to Ms. Holvick, the mind/body connection is more significant than recent science has allowed. The most current thinking indicates that a smile is more than your umbrella; it’s your amulet against disease. Sarah says that “wherever the intangible mind goes, the body follows in a quantifiable, physical sense.” How quantifiable? Apparently, there is a significant correlation between serum antioxidants status and optimism. The higher your level of antioxidants in your blood, the lower the incidence of inflammation and, therefore, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, and cancer. How does one get more of these invaluable serum antioxidants into the blood stream? Well, it’s simpler than you’d expect. You can significantly improve your health simply by being positive. In fact, Sarah says that eating an irreproachable diet is almost pointless if you’re living a miserable, stressed life. Your body can’t really recognize where the problem is coming from; it just reacts to any perceived threat. It does that by mounting an inflammatory response. Given that inflammation is the hideous thing lurking behind most health issues, doing what you can to avoid any causative factors is key. She concludes stating that: “Simple gratitude just might be as important to your health as turmeric and jogging and free-range, organic turkey. (http://life.nationalpost.com/2013/10/12/jane-macdougall-does-gratitude-make-up-for-gorging/)
In Colossians, the Apostle Paul showed how Genuine Gratitude is the opposite of spiritual pride. The Christian life is the experience of God’s grace from beginning to end (cf.1:6). Other kinds of human growth, development and achievement easily lead to self-satisfaction, self-importance, or superiority. Walking in Christ Jesus the Lord, being built in him, being established in the faith leads to thankfulness (Woodhouse, J. (2011). Colossians and Philemon: So Walk in Him (p. 114). Ross-shire, Great Britain: Christian Focus.)
What is the basis of our gratitude and thanksgiving? Do we enjoy what we enjoy because we worked hard, live in a good country, have help from those around us or are just lucky?
Colossians 2:6-7 gives us a reason to be grateful for what Christ has done and continues to do. This should happen from: 1) A Thankful Walk (Colossians 2:6), 2) A Thankful Faith (Colossians 2:7a), 3) A Thankful Gratitude (Colossians 2:7b)
1) A Thankful Walk (Colossians 2:6)
Colossians 2:6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, (ESV)
Paul had already alluded to his fears for the Colossians—the danger of them being deluded by baseless arguments used by plausible religious salesmen (2:4). Now he prepares to confront the danger head-on, beginning with a positive statement of his objective (Dunn, J. D. G. (1996). The Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon: a commentary on the Greek text (p. 138). Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle: William B. Eerdmans Publishing; Paternoster Press.).
Therefore builds the concluding exhortation on what Paul has said in verses 2–5. The Colossians have received Christ Jesus the Lord, they have settled convictions about His deity and sufficiency, and are standing firm against the attacks of false teachers, so they must continue to walk in Him. (Wright, N. T. (1986). Colossians and Philemon: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 12, p. 103). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.)
The Christian faith is a person, a life, and a body of truths. The verb “receive” used here (paralambanō) has two connotations (1) the welcoming of a person (cf. Matt. 1:20; John 1:11; 14:3) and (2) the receiving of “tradition” (cf. I Cor. 11:23; 15:1, 3; Gal. 1:9, 12; Phil. 4:9; I Thess. 2:13; 4:1; II Thess. 3:6). The Colossians heard the content of the gospel through Epaphras’ preaching; then they personally welcomed the Person of the gospel (John 1:12). Biblical faith is a covenant. God sets the agenda and makes the first contact (cf. John 6:44, 65), but individuals must respond by repentance, faith, obedience and perseverance (v. 6) (Utley, R. J. (1997). Paul Bound, the Gospel Unbound: Letters from Prison (Colossians, Ephesians and Philemon, then later, Philippians) (Vol. Volume 8, p. 30). Marshall, TX: Bible Lessons International.)
They were to reflect on how they had received him, and that was to be a model for their present lives. They were to remember the nature and content of their faith at the time of their salvation, and that was to guide them throughout their Christian lives as well. (Melick, R. R. (1991). Philippians, Colossians, Philemon (Vol. 32, p. 246). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.).
• Gratitude is not merely a theological concept. Unless we internalize the discipline it is merely an external celebration of a holiday. When gratitude is internalized in true thanksgiving, we recognize the source of our blessing, the actions that He took, continues to take and promises to take in the future. That internalizing of gratitude is in the regular practice of thanksgiving.