Verse: Colossians 3:5-10
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
When we read lists like this in the Bible, I think we tend to have one of two reactions. Either we assume this isn't about us, it's about other people who really are struggling in life. Or we get overwhelmed by the list and just skip it because we can't handle it.
I'd like to propose a third option. Think of yourself like an onion. (Weird I know, but stick with me here.) Have you ever peeled back a layer of an onion? What's underneath it? Another layer! And it keeps on going.
This is often how God works in our lives. He will work to peel back a layer in our lives. A layer that needs to be refined, or worked on, or healed. He will focus his Spirit of conviction and encouragement on one area as he leads us into freedom and healing. And then later, once we've made progress, he'll focus on another area. He'll peel back one layer, and then another, as he continues to shape us into his image.
Of course, this isn't in the Bible word for word, but in my experience God often works like this. Obviously if he wanted to address a number of issues at once he could. He could also do something miraculous and deliver us from a bunch of problems all at once. He's God and he does amazing work in our lives.
But in general, my encouragement to you today is don't assume the list is for others, and don't ignore it because it's overwhelming. Instead ask the Lord what the next step is for you. What is working on in your life right now, and what does he want to work on next? If we stay humble and teachable, God will continue to lead us into freedom, healing, and wholeness.
Keep me humble, Lord, and lead me into healing. Show me the next layer of the onion.