Complete without Compromise
As I was preparing to decorate the house for Christmas this year, I looked at the decorations we already had and thought about what more we can buy to give a more complete Christmas feel. I mean, who doesn’t love a house decked out in Christmas lights and decorations? In my town there is a street that is famously known for being decked out in Christmas decorations the entire month of December and it essentially everyone in the town walks down that street at some point to soak in all the Christmas spirit. In my mind I had made that the aspiration for decorating my house because something about lights just gives it all a complete winter holiday feel. It’s fun to think about all the traditions of Christmas. They are so deeply embedded in our culture. Can you imagine if one year no one in the world decorated their houses in December? That probably wouldn’t feel much like Christmas at all. You might have heard the phrase being thrown around “Jesus is the reason for the season.” As true and wonderful as that is, I’ve often experienced this being used as a criticism of how we’ve sidetracked from the real reason of Christmas.
Isn’t that the way with so many things in our world. There are different factors that need to happen or nor happen to give us a sense of completeness. I often hear this said in relationships, that someone else completes them. I used to identify completion with being an athlete. The truth is, the world often sidetracks us and we place our value and completeness in the traditions of the world. We declare things like “he completes me” or “this makes me feel complete” when declaring these things as the subject of your completion, we compromise our self-identity and God-given status.
The Bible tells us that God is please to have ALL his fullness dwell in him. (Col 1:19) In the book of Colossians Paul writes this letter to the church in Colosse addressing matters related to corruption and confusion in the practices of Christianity. Paul’s goal here is to give a clearer image of Christ so they can better understand who he is and what that means for them. The first chapter alone is packed so richly with theology and one of the things he emphasizes is that Jesus holds preeminence in all things heaven and earth. As the one and only perfect king, Jesus delights in the fact that fullness is found in him. The greek translation of fullness implies a permanent dwelling. This is because he isn’t temporarily God, he is permanently God.
God has already declared that fullness is found in Him. It’s a fullness that never leaves, never wavers, even on your worst days. He is your dwelling place forever. Our completeness isn’t in the hands of a person or ability. It’s not found in a church, a building, a community of believers. Fullness is found in Jesus. Anything else we label as our completeness doesn't measure up to the real and unfailing love of God that is available to us. Philippians 1:6 says “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.” Your status is created and brought to completion through Christ. Don’t misplace it in the hands of something that is limited to the world. Your value is worth beyond anything this earth can display.
Reflection: What is something that completes you or makes you feel completed? Have you ever felt the fullness of Christ in a moment or throughout a season? If you have, remind yourself of the confidence, joy, and motivation of that time. Don't pursue that moment, but pursue the God who gave you that feeling of fullness. If you haven't ask the Lord to make his fullness available to you and help you to experience the fruit of being complete in Him.