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Daily Devotional Colossians 3:12–21

As Christians, we are a part of two families. The first is made up of those people to whom we are related by birth or have joined through marriage. We gather for holidays and birthdays. Sometimes we share physical features. For believers, our other family is the church, the family of God. Sometimes these two groups overlap. Paul speaks to both in Colossians 3:12–21.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.


The church’s basic rule is love and the recognition that all Christians are bound together in Him (v. 12). The church is not a perfect community. Participation often requires patience and forgiveness from those who are part of it (v. 13). Paul describes the church as a worshiping community, constituted by the Word of God (v. 16). Those who make up the church are “members of one body” who speak and act “in the name of the Lord Jesus” (vv. 15, 17). This is a community whose only boundary is Christ Himself. It is not limited by ethnicity, gender, economic status, or nationality (see also v. 11).

What Paul describes in verses 18–25 is more accurately a household than a family. The fact that Paul includes slaves is significant because it introduces a cultural element into the idea. God established the family as a divine institution in Creation. The New Testament household Paul describes has the family at its core. But the apostle also includes slaves, a social structure God did not establish. He urges slaves to remember that God accepts their sincere service as being offered to Him (v. 22). Christians live in a fallen world that has been shaped by God and has also been altered by sin. We are bound to live by the Word of God while in it.

>> Even though our social systems are sometimes broken, it does not exempt us from the responsibility of living Christianly within them. Are you a member of a less than ideal family? Seek God’s wisdom, then trust and obey.

Pray with Us

None of us have perfect families. How do we honor and glorify You when family life gets messy? How do we love family when it is difficult? How do we seek truth among so many diverging opinions? Lead us and guide us to family peace, Father.

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