What dwells within you? 

It’s been a dramatic few weeks, both here and abroad. In Florida we’ve seen yet another school shooting – the second worst public school shooting in US history. At this stage it’s difficult to know what motivated the attacker. Was it mental illness? Vengeance for his expulsion? Something else? What were the thoughts that were running through his mind?

Closer to home, Barnaby Joyce has been exposed as an adulterer, and now a father from that adultery. What motivated him to do this?

While there are no doubt complexities to these questions, it’s unmistakable that the answer, (at least partially in the shooter’s case), is sin. Sinful thoughts and desires. Selfishness. Arrogance. A lack of love and compassion. A desire to live for self and mould the world around them how they desired it to be.

But we can’t look down on these men. Aren’t those same thoughts and motivations in us? We get angry at others, and lash out. We selfishly expect others to serve us and our wants, and are too often thoughtless when it comes to serving in return. The sin within us is the same, even if only expressed differently. How can we battle against what is inside us?

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly… (Col 3:16)

We must replace the words of our former sinful nature with the words of Christ. Instead of listening to those words of selfishness, we must fill our hearts with the word of Christ, who speaks of service. Instead of vengeance, slander and gossip; instead of thinking the worst of each other, we fill our hearts with grace, love, truth and generosity.

Does the word of Christ dwell in you richly? Over the next few weeks we’ll explore what that might look like.