Is our language telling on us?

Is this how Colossians 1:1-2 reads?

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, and Timothy, to the saints and faithful brothers at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God.


The above verses are certainly readable, but some words are missing, some important words.

This is how Colossians 1:1-2 reads.

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

Would we include the same insertions?

I am struck by Paul’s awareness that he is in his role as apostle by the will of God. I am also struck by the concept of family — our brother, our brothers in Christ, and our Father. I realize how often such indicators are missing from my vocabulary and day-to-day thinking.

Submission to God’s Story — “by the will of God”

Do you say things like, “I am [insert your name], a [insert role or job title]? I assume you do, but then do you add, “by the will of God?” If you are like me, probably not. Do you even think the words? Again, probably not. If I consciously live out my role as a wife and professor “by the will of God,” would that help me to live as a reflection of that reality? I think so.

As I think of some family members, one daughter is an OT by the will of God. Another is a nurse by the will of God. My son is a welder by the will of God. My friend Val runs a non-profit (Gilgal) by the will of God.

You get the idea. You and I did not pick our role in God’s Story. God did!

We are family — “our brother” “faithful brothers in Christ” “our Father”

Anyone who has placed their faith in Jesus has been adopted into the family of God. In Christ, we are family and God is our Father. As the concept of family has taken hold in my heart and thinking, I have been addressing my Christian friends more frequently as “sister” and “brother,” but I am struck once again with Paul’s use of “our.” Christianity is not individual. Yes, Carol is my friend but more importantly, she my sister in Christ. She and I have an eternal relationship. But things extend further than that. In Christ, Carol is your sister too. She is a sister to every other Christ follower in history. She is our sister. Is she greeted that way by everyone? Treated that way by everyone?

God is “our Father”

Paul tells the believers in Colossae, ” grace and peace from God our Father.” Here we go again. He didn’t say, my Father.

Just like Jesus taught us to pray: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

Is our language telling on us?

Our language can reveal the hyper-individualism that has seeped from our culture into the church. We as a whole — together — are to be renowned. His church is to be on the stand for all the world to see, not us as individuals. I am increasingly aware that God is not just concerned about our growth into Christ-likeness because He cares about us as an individual, but because our individual growth allows His collective family on earth to shine more brightly for all the world to see. Every brother and sister in God’s family exists in our role on earth by the will of God and are connected as family in Christ.

I know family relationships can be the most complicated on earth, but just like we didn’t pick our family on earth, we don’t pick who is adopted into God’s family either. God draws people to Himself in His own time. And just like we have a commitment to the family we received by no choice of our own, we are to be committed to our family in Christ too: Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:10)

Paul lives with all of us in His heart and head as he writes or dictates letters. Paul also lives his role in history wholeheartedly because it was picked by the will of God.

I am thinking we are to do the same.

Picture Explanation: Photography by my friend, Dan Thompson HERE.

Speaking of global perspective: If you are interested in being contacted to participate in a One Gritty Blink Bible study, click on the Oaks Ministries link below and send me an email so I can place you on a list to be contacted as online and face-to-face studies are planned. Let’s not just focus on things in this short life, but also what counts for eternity!

Note: No part of my posts are derived from A.I. Thoughts and writing stem from my mind and heart as I process life week-by-week and continue to grow in my understanding of God and how to apply His wisdom to the world around me.

© 2024 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.

4 Responses

  1. So amazing how we take a word like “our” and make it a singular concept when it comes to OUR FATHER. Once again my friend you have opened my mind to go into the deep thinking of the word and how the definition becomes difficult when it comes to my brothers and sisters in Christ!
    Thank you my sister ❤️

  2. Thank you, Laurie! If we could love OUR sisters and brothers in Christ who think differently than we do rather than as OUR theological, political, and cultural enemies, how different this world would be. My husband and I literally sat this morning and talked about the need for churches to preach Jesus and love for Jesus. When we truly love Jesus, we love OUR brothers and sisters and we obey His commands. Jesus and the Word. That is OUR foundation. Please help us to love, Lord!

    1. Yes, help us Lord! Transform us into the family we are meant to be. Help the world to love God because they see us loving each other. Amen

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I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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