Life DefinedFebruary 15, 2023 SGC Women
Think about your daily routine - the things you do and the titles you are called. Maybe some of the things you do include working, cleaning, studying, reading, cooking, laundry, running errands, meeting with people, etc. Maybe some of the titles you are called include “mom,” “wife,” “girlfriend,” “sister,” etc. But what do we do with all these actions and titles? Are those things really what define our lives?
In the days of being a student, it can seem like your life is totally and completely defined by your school, professors, and rules. As if everything you do is determined by another person, a syllabus, and your running list of assignments to complete. It feels like you will never have enough time to truly do everything you should and would like to do in such a season of life. When will you feel free? When will you have more time for things outside of school? Is life just waiting on the other side of the stage after you receive your diploma?
In the days of having little ones run around the house, I imagine it might seem like your life is totally and completely defined by them. As if everything you do is determined by their lives, needs, wants, and mood. Perhaps it feels like you are slowly losing your own individuality and are being reinvented by your kids. You might be asking, “when will it feel like I have my own life again? When the kids are 18 and officially adults? When they are married and living on their own?”
What does your life mean outside of what you do? Colossians 3 holds the answer. Colossians 3:3-4 says, “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory”.
Let’s start from the beginning with the phrase “for you have died.” Back in Colossians 2:20, Paul says, “If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world…” and in Romans 6:2 he states, “how can we who died to sin still live in it?” Thus, when he speaks in 3:3 and says, “for you have died,” he is speaking about the way believers have been united to Christ in His death that conquered sin. Believers already have to choose to ‘die’ to sin, self, and the things of the world in order to follow Christ.
Paul then goes on in Colossians 3:3 to say that through this death, your life is hidden in God. The stark contrast of death and life here gives a clear distinction. Death to the world means real life - life in Christ! So, to answer the question of “when will I have your own life again”? The comfort here is that your life was never your own to begin with! Your life was always Christ’s (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
Not only that, but this life is hidden in Christ. Think about that! Your life is held in the arms of Jesus. He presents you to the Father hidden in Himself. Therefore, you are presented as perfect and holy to the Father as Christ is! But what else does ‘hidden’ mean? It means ‘safe’ or ‘secure’. Your life is hidden, safe, secure in Christ. And where is Christ? In heaven, seated at the right hand of God (Col. 3:1) - the safest place in the universe. Thus, your life cannot be defined by what you do, because your life is defined in Christ.
Paul then reminds his readers in verse 4 of the future hope and glory they have. When Christ appears, you will be with Him in glory! Why will you be with Him? Because He is your life. You’re not just a mom or just a student. You are, however, a Christian, which means you’re Christ’s. Your kids aren’t your life. Your husband isn’t your life. Your work isn’t your life. Your school isn’t your life. Your hobbies aren’t your life. While those things are good gifts to you and those around you through you, they are not what ultimately defines your life - Christ does! Your care for your kids is a real, practical way you get to die to yourself every day and choose to live in Christ (Gal. 2:20). Your time spent studying is a gift in which you can grow your mind in a disciplined way, choosing to die to self and live in Christ by stewarding what He’s given you (John 3:27; Col. 3:23).
You can take joy in the fact that nothing you do ultimately defines your life. Your life is defined by Christ and that definition cannot shift or change because you are hidden in Christ!