I’ve been working on writing a devotional through Colossians for my son. When I came to Colossians 2:1-5 I struggled with how to teach my five year old son about the reality of being deluded by plausible sounding arguments. Here is how I eventually decided to illustrate this.
First, I ask Isaiah what his favorite toy is. We talk about it for a little bit and then I’m going to offer him a trade. I’m going to hand him one of my old dilapidated shoes that I use for mowing the yard. I am pretty confident that he will reject my offer. We will then talk about how silly the Colossians were for doing such a silly trade.
Then I’ll inform him that I do have another trade for him. This time I will give him a big package that is neatly wrapped (I’ll have his mother wrap it). I will let him know that this present is a million times cooler than his favorite toy. I’ll use all of my powers of daddy persuasion to get him to make the trade.
I am pretty confident that he will accept the trade. How could he not? It will be far too enticing for a little boy to turn down. Then we will open it and be sorely disappointed that it is my other disgusting mowing shoe. At this point we will be able to talk about the difference between a plausible sounding argument and one that is obviously silly. I will inform him that Satan rarely just hands us an old ratty shoe and says, “Would you like to trade Jesus for this”. No, he always packages it up.
I will close the devotional by showing Isaiah the way to stay anchored in a world that will consistently try to offer him old lawn-mowing shoes in exchange for the beautiful Christ. The way that we do not make that trade is by being completely convinced that Jesus is the most valuable treasure ever. That way you know that no matter what is in the package it cannot beat what you already have in Jesus. Nothing will be able to lure us.
We will end by talking about how wonderful Jesus is and why there is nothing or nobody that is better than Him.
A Lesson For You And I
It is not only Isaiah that needs to hear this message. In Colossians 2:1-5 Paul also tells us another way to stay anchored in our deceptive world. Somewhere along the way we forget that we are like that little boy that is easily duped into trading something of infinite value for a shiny new box. But we are. And just as a little boy left to himself is going to get duped every time, so we too will be tossed to and fro by every flashy new thing. Unless…
Unless, we are knitted together with other believers. If we have a healthy relationship with a local church body we will not be so easily duped. In a congregation there are many that foolishly made those trades. They will not only remind us of the sufficiency of Christ but they will also be there to convince us that what’s in the pretty package is nothing that will satiate.
This is why we need the body. This is why Paul says, “being knit together in love” in Colossians 2:2. The reaching the “riches of full assurance” and the “encouragement of the heart” do not come through an individualistic experience. Those sweet and precious graces flow to us through being knitted together with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We need one another to constantly be reminded of the infinite worth of Jesus. Otherwise we’ll end up like a little boy trading his favorite toy for an old lawn-mowing shoe.