“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
Seek the things that are above
In the Greek text, to seek means specifically to worship. It can also be translated as to go about, desire, endeavor, or inquire. I’ll paraphrase further it as to be occupied with.
Chapter two ends with an exhortation to quit trying to make ourselves righteous by setting up rules, neglecting our bodies, and performing self-made religious duties in false humility. Paul says, “These have indeed an appearance of wisdom…but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.” They make you look spiritual but can’t really help you overcome sin.
Therefore, in the endeavor to live a holy life, instead of focusing on our body and on sin itself, seek those things which are above; specifically, seek God through Christ. Worship Him. Pray to Him. Read His word. Commune with Him. Be occupied with Him.
He is your life.
In this way your life will be purified. As you set your desires toward Him, as you devote yourself to Him, as you look to Him, He transforms you by His Spirit into His image.
- 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
The words of our mouth are powerful.
- Proverbs 15:4 “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.”
- Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”
- James 3:5 “The tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.”
Always be gracious
If everything you say is always full of grace, if every word from your mouth is laced with it, you’ll always have the right answer.
The untamable tongue
It’s easy to say, “From now one, I’ll speak with grace;” the problem is, the tongue is uncontrollable.
- James 3:2, 8-12 “We all stumble in many ways, and if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. No human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so..”
Trust in God
It is impossible for you to get your tongue under control. What you need to do–what we all need to do–is trust the Lord. We should pray like David did in the Psalms, “Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” (Psalms 141:3).
Every word from His mouth is perfect. Every word from His mouth is full of grace. With He and His Holy Spirit dwelling within us, we can trust Him to speak through us.
- Psalms 45:2 “You [speaking of Christ] are the most handsome of the sons of men; grace is poured upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you forever.”
- John 7:46 “The officers answered [concerning Jesus], ‘No one ever spoke like this man!'”
- Luke 4:22 “All spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, ‘Is not this Joseph’s son?'”
If you have trouble summoning gracious words by your self, ask God to do it through you. Ask Christ to fill your mouth with words of grace through His Holy Spirit and you will find that His Word is always the answer perfect for any occasion.