This week, my reading in The Message brought be to Colossians. I liked Chapter 2 so much that I stopped and re-read it. Then, I read it to my wife, Margaret. Then, I copied it in a reply to an email from a friend. So, I thought I would share part of it here as well:
Don’t tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession with angels and that you seek out visions. They’re a lot of hot air, that’s all they are. They’re completely out of touch with the source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us.
So, then, if with Christ you’ve put all that pretentious and infantile religion behind you, why do you let yourselves be bullied by it? “Don’t touch this! Don’t taste that! Don’t go near this!” Do you think things that are here today and gone tomorrow are worth that kind of attention? Such things sound impressive if said in a deep enough voice. They even give the illusion of being pious and humble and ascetic. But they’re just another way of showing off, making yourselves look important. (Colossians 2:18-23 The Message)
The grace of God is freeing, not binding. Anyone who tries to bind us with rules and regulations is not operating under grace.