The scope of creativity, discovery, and learning that defines the human race seems to know no end. We are forever changing society, moving forward with technology, debating opinions. This is not a new age trend, but something that has been happening all through the ages. The Book of Acts documents a number of debates Paul, Apollos and other disciples had while spreading the good news of the gospel. We want to understand mysteries. We love discovery. Hearts and lives are changed by the revelation of a new insight, the realisation of a worthwhile passion, the excitement of a change for good. What is the point of all this, however? Is there something beyond our reach, something we cannot teach ourselves or discover of our own accord? The book of Colossians challenges us to look beyond ourselves, and discover Christ.
Humans like to think. We wonder why things happen; we wonder what things could be; we wonder about who we are. We seem intrigued by theories and possibilities – what is truly in a black hole; how our earth was formed; what is the meaning of life. Philosophy is useless without a direction. It is just an interesting thought. Philosophy with purpose is powerful. It changes people and changes the world. Galileo championed the theory of heliocentrism (that the earth and planets resolved around the sun) in an age that thought earth was the centre of the universe. His thoughts proved true and today, our knowledge of the solar system is very different.
[Colossians 2:2-3] offers us a way of directing our thinking that brings transformation:
“That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and straining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
In Colossians, we are given a number of reasons to think and discover, but we are also shown how to identify what is true. As wonderful as philosophy can be, it also has risks of leading us into danger. Slavery, for example, was once widely accepted as right and moral. So, as we think and discern, let us do so with the following attitudes:
[ To encourage our heart ]
Many people fall into negative patterns of thinking – overthinking; pessimism; anxiety; fear. These thought patterns affect and traumatise lives. Instead, the Bible and its good news message encourage hearts. We have reason for hope, assurance, joy and life.
[ To be united in love ]
In a world of divisive opinions, the Bible clarifies one thing as true. Love can overcome all. It can bind people together despite uncertainties. To be united in love is to know the love of God which is for every single person; to know this love that was demonstrated through Christ at the cross.
[ To desire understanding ]
Part of discovery requires a desire to discover. Toddlers are known for their curiosity; their constant questions of “why?” We can’t we be curious about God and ask Him questions? He is a God who answers, and a God who loves to show Himself. After all, He promises that those who seek will find; and that the door will be opened to any who knock [Matthew 7:8].
[ To know the mystery of God ]
Ultimately, we were made to discover God. In everything we learn and discover, we can see the fingerprints of God. We can see the way He works, the way He thinks, the way of His will. God loves to share His mysteries with us because it helps us to know Him. The true endpoint of our revelation is our discovery of God.
[ To discover Him as our true treasure and knowledge ]
It is one thing to know God, and another to embrace Him as our true treasure. To love God above everything else and lay our lives down at His feet. This is worship, this is submission and this is eternal treasure that cannot be taken from us.
Chapters 2 and 3 of Colossians go on to look at how a life in Christ differs from the world’s view on life. Instead of legalism, we have freedom. Instead of temporal things, we have eternal joys. Instead of sin, we have been made holy. Instead of death, we have been led into Christ’s life.
So think beyond philosophy; look beyond the visible;
knock at the door; and discover Christ.