Dr. Clair Budd – “Whatever…”
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” – Colossians 3:12-17 (NASB)
“Whatever” has become in recent years the ultimate word for resignation, disengagement, or laxity. I’ve heard it from teenage children, and witnessed it said at church as well as in society at large. “Go ahead, do what you want… I don’t care… whatever!”
But that’s hardly the way Paul uses it here in v. 17! Rather, Paul has just provided important instructions to believers about living out the life of Christ that is in them: “Seek the things that are above” (3:1); “Put to death whatever in you is earthly” (3:5); “You must get rid of…” (3:8-9); “Clothe yourselves with…” (3:12-14). The life that God calls us to is one that possesses both inner and outer, both active and passive dimensions. And it calls the person who is newer in his/her relationship with Christ to push on to deeper levels of conformity to Christlikeness.
And, just in case his readers would be prone to check these items off their “to-do” list (like some of us?), Paul throws in the “whatever you do…, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus” – i.e. say and do what He would. That’s the life of holiness.
Lord Jesus, help me to be clothed in Your character today, that my actions and comments would be reflective of Your life in me.
- Dr. Clair Budd, Professor of Christian Studies & Philosophy